Paying for college

Financial aid

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and M State's FAFSA code

The M State Office of Financial Aid recommends that you apply electronically by completing a FAFSA online. Your application for financial aid should be made well in advance of the time funds are needed.  We recommend at least five to six weeks for processing of your completed financial aid file. Please keep in mind that you must reapply for financial aid each academic year and you cannot receive aid from more than one school for the same period of enrollment. In order to receive a financial aid award letter you must be admitted to M State as a degree-seeking student.

M State's FAFSA code is 005541.

Students with an earned bachelor's degree are not eligible for financial aid.

An affordable college, made even more affordable

M State's financial aid team can help you anticipate the cost of college and get the financial aid for which you're eligible. We also want to make the process of paying for college as understandable as possible. The earlier you apply for financial aid, the better.

More than half of all M State students have a tuition-free experience through grants and scholarships that don't have to be paid back. M State's friendly and knowledgeable business services and financial aid teams are ready to help you.

Changes in your family’s financial circumstances

Sometimes the information provided on the FAFSA does not reflect a family’s current resources or ability to pay for college because financial circumstances have changed due to special or extenuating circumstances. Changes may be made on a case-by-case determination to more accurately reflect the financial need of students and families.

These special circumstances can include:

  • An unforeseen loss of employment or income
  • The death of a parent or spouse
  • The divorce or separation of a student or parent
  • An income reduction of 20 percent or more due to factors beyond the person’s control
  • A significant income reduction due to the loss of child support
  • Unusually high medical or dental expenses that aren't covered by insurance
  • A one-time increase in parent income due to an IRA distribution or pension withdrawal

If you feel you have special or extenuating circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid office.

Helpful financial aid information

Financial Aid Checklist

Creating an FSA ID and Password

Financial aid process

Financial aid contacts

M State's financial aid staff can answer your questions about the FAFSA, student grants and loans, scholarships and work-study eligibility. For assistance, call or text 877.450.3322, email or contact one of our financial aid staff:

Detroit Lakes: Riley Thorson

Fergus Falls: Jessica Umlauf

Moorhead: Melissa Friesen & Amanda Solem

Wadena: Kim Haugen & Riley Thorson

Collegewide Verification Processing: Brian Maki

Collegewide Loan Processing: Cindy Hayward


Specific Question Contacts:

MN Indian Scholarship Program: Brian Maki

MN Childcare Grant: Kim Haugen or Amanda Solem

MN GI Bill: Brian Maki

MN Future Together Grant: Melissa Friesen or Riley Thorson

North Star Promise Grant (Starting 2024): Melissa Friesen or Riley Thorson

Fresh Start Initiative or Default Questions: Brian Maki

Fostering Independence Grant: Jess Umlauf

Max Time Frame: Riley Thorson, Melissa Friesen, or Jess Umlauf

Work Study: Campus based, see above for campus locations and contacts