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FREE COLLEGE TUITION IS POSSIBLE

Beginning in Fall 2024, the North Star Promise Scholarship program will provide eligible Minnesota residents a tuition-free path to a bachelor’s degree. The North Star Promise Scholarship program is a “last-dollar” program, covering the balance of tuition and fees remaining after other scholarships, grants, stipends, and tuition waivers are applied.

An aerial view of the Metro State campus showing New Main and Science Center

Eligibility

New and continuing students are eligible. Metro State anticipates approximately 1 in 5 of its current undergraduate students would be eligible under this program. To be eligible for the North Star Promise program, individuals must:

  • Be a Minnesota resident
  • Have a family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Minnesota Dream Act Application below $80,000*
  • Attend a Minnesota public higher education institution or Tribal College
  • Not be in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Be enrolled taking at least one credit
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Have not already earned a bachelor's degree
  • Be enrolled in a program or course of study that applies to an undergraduate degree, diploma, or certificate

*Equates to an annual family combined salary of approximately $100,000–$110,000. AGI is used to refer to the line on US taxes that will be used to evaluate for scholarship eligibility. Depending on a household's income exclusions from US tax forms (such as standard or itemized deductions taken), a household or family income could be quite a bit more than its associated AGI.

Attend an upcoming Open House event

Get the answers you need to find, fund, and select the ideal degree program for you at Metro State's undergraduate Open House event on campus Thursday, May 30, 5–7 p.m.

How to apply

  1. Apply for admission to Metro State University—you will need to be admitted to be eligible for the North State Promise Scholarship program.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Minnesota Dream Act Application.

There is no additional application beyond the FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act Application. Metro State will assess your eligibility on a term-by-term basis and award North Star Promise Scholarships to all eligible students.

Frequently asked questions

All Minnesota public higher education institutions and Tribal Colleges will be eligible:

  • All Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including Metro State University
  • All University of Minnesota campuses
  • All Tribal Colleges

There is not a limit on the maximum term, yearly, or lifetime dollar amount of an award you can receive. The amount you receive is based on the "last-dollar" calculation of your eligibility on a term-by-term basis. You can receive up to 100% of the amount charged in tuition and required fees per term, minus all other sources of gift aid you receive. Note: Book purchases are not included as “required fees” that are covered by this grant.

For students earning 2-year degrees, you can receive the award for a total of 60 credits. For students earning 4-year degrees, you can receive the award for a total of 120 credits.

If funds are available, the highest need students may also receive North Star Promise Plus funds. The details on this provision of the program are still being determined.

The college or university you are attending will calculate your award amount based on the eligibility requirements and award calculation. They will determine your tuition and required fee charges (this does not include books and supply purchases), subtract all other sources of gift aid (scholarships, grants, waivers, and stipends) and award the remaining amount in a North Star Promise scholarship.

Students are notified of their scholarship through the college or university’s standard awarding process.

Before calculating your award, “last-dollar” programs consider any other sources of gift aid funding that you receive.  “Gift aid” is financial aid that does not require repayment, such as scholarships, grants, stipends, third-party payments, and tuition waivers.  Loans and work study are not sources of gift aid. The goal of this strategy is to utilize available program funds to provide as many eligible students as possible a tuition and fee-free pathway to a college education.

As a last-dollar scholarship, this award is calculated on a term-by-term basis. If new sources of gift aid are awarded to you, the North Star Promise scholarship will be recalculated.

You must continue to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards at your school in order for the scholarship to renew.

There is no maximum length of time for which you can receive the award. However, for students earning 2-year degrees, you can receive the award for a total of 60 credits. For students earning 4-year degrees, you can receive the award for a total of 120 credits. The maximum credits for which any student is eligible is a total of 120 credits.

Yes. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, but the total of your other sources of “gift aid” already covers the amount of your tuition and required fees, you will not be awarded a North Star Promise Scholarship. This is because the sum of your other aid has already provided you with enough funds to cover your tuition and required fees charges.

However, if you do not receive a North Star Promise Scholarship because other financial aid already covers your tuition and fees, you will still be considered for the North Star Promise Plus funds.  The details on this provision of the program are still being determined.

No, there is no age criteria used for eligibility for the program.

More information about dependent and independent students can be found on the North Star Promise Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

No, the program is open to new and returning students who meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information on the North Star Promise Scholarship program, contact Gateway Student Services at Metro State University or visit the Minnesota Office of Higher Education website.