Financial aid is money that is available to help students finance the cost of an education. Financial aid comes in the form of grants (money that the student does not have to pay back), loans (money that the student must pay back) and college work-study (money the student earns through employment). Eligibility is determined from the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
As a student, you have the primary responsibility to pay for your education. Financial aid is intended to supplement the difference between the cost of education and the expected family contribution. Several programs are available to help you meet your educational expenses. The Financial Aid Office determines Saint Paul College financial aid eligibility after receiving the FAFSA results and after processing all required documents. The student must be admitted to a program/declare a major at Saint Paul College that leads toward a degree, diploma, or eligible certificate to be qualified to receive financial aid.
Financial Aid Definitions
- FAFSA - The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA. This is the application for all types of financial aid: grants, loans, or college work-study.
- Cost of Attendance - This is considered the cost of education at the College. It includes tuition, fees, a room and board allowance, books, supplies, a transportation allowance, and a personal expense allowance. It helps determine how much financial aid a student is able to receive during a semester of enrollment.
- Expected Family Contribution - An amount, determined by a formula called Federal Methodology, that indicates how much of the student and the student’s family’s resources should be available to help pay for school. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is used in determining the student’s eligibility for federal and state financial aid. If a student has unusual expenses that may affect the student’s ability to pay for school, the student should notify the Financial Aid Office.
- Financial Need - Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution.
- Full-Time Enrollment: 12 credits or more per semester.
- Three-Quarter-Time Enrollment: 9-11 credits per semester.
- Half-Time Enrollment: 6-8 credits per semester.
- Less Than Half-Time Enrollment: 5 credits or fewer per semester.
Types of Financial Aid
Grants are gift aid, which the student does not have to pay back. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent from another college, are not eligible for grants.
Federal Pell Grant
Students apply for the Federal Pell Grant by completing the FAFSA. Pell Grants vary from $400 per year up to the federally legislated maximum. Pell Grant recipients must be enrolled in an eligible program and must maintain satisfactory progress in their coursework.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
This program is designed for students who have exceptional financial need. Funds are limited. Eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office with priority given to students who apply for Financial Aid early.
Minnesota State Grant
A grant for Minnesota residents who are attending an accredited post-secondary institution, the award process is similar to the Pell Grant. Students apply by completing the FAFSA.
Minnesota Postsecondary Child Care Grant
This grant is for students who are Minnesota residents, have children ages 12 and under (14 and under, if disabled), have financial need, and have child care expenses. Recipients must not be receiving Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) assistance. Students who have received an award letter can request an application from the Financial Aid Office or online.
These programs employ students on campus. Pay is established by the College. These programs provide work for up to 20 hours per week. Total work-study earnings are not to exceed the cost of attendance. Work study positions available on campus include tutors, office assistants, and lab assistants.
Loans are financial aid that must be paid back. You must complete online entrance loan counseling and a Master Promissory Note through Saint Paul College in order to apply for a loan.
Federal Direct Loans
Students can also receive help to meet their educational expenses by borrowing money from Federal Student Aid. Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans are available based on eligibility. Dependent first year students can borrow up to $5,500 per academic year. Upon completion of 30 credits toward program requirements, eligibility increases to $6,500 per academic year. Independent students are eligible for additional unsubsidized loans. All loans must have two disbursements.
PLUS Loan Program
The Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loan Program for undergraduate students can be used by parents of dependent students who are in need of additional funds. The program allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. Parents must successfully pass a credit check to be eligible for a PLUS loan.
You are strongly encouraged to pursue the availability of free or lower-cost financial aid with the College’s financial aid office; however, private educational loans can bridge the gap between government programs and the cost of attendance. Eligibility is typically based on your credit score. You can only apply for these loans by contacting banks or other lenders.
Other Sources of Financial Assistance
Several government and private agencies provide financial assistance to eligible students. Contact the local office of any of the following agencies for consideration. The agency determines who is eligible for assistance.
Private Scholarships - check with your high school counselor or the public library, and the following websites:
How to Apply for Financial Aid
- Apply for admission to the College. Students must declare a major and be enrolled in a program leading towards a degree, diploma or eligible certificates to be qualified for financial aid. Awards vary based on your enrollment level (full-time, part-time). Financial aid will be based on the number of enrolled credits by the drop/ add deadline.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must apply electronically through the Federal Department of Education website at www.fafsa.gov. During the application, enter the Saint Paul College school code, 005533. The Financial Aid Office will receive an electronic copy of the results within two weeks.
- If you have attended any post-secondary schools prior to Saint Paul College and want to be considered for the Minnesota State Grant, submit academic transcripts to the Financial Aid Office from all previously attended schools.
- After the Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA results from Student Federal Aid, your application will be reviewed. Quickly respond to any and all requests for additional information. When your file is complete, financial aid eligibility will be calculated and you will be notified by email that an award letter has been created on your College e-services account.
- Carefully read your award letter and follow the instructions for receiving awards. All loans and the Minnesota Child Care grant require additional application requirements.
Students Selected for Financial Aid Verification
The College verifies Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information of students selected by the Federal Student Aid or selected by the College. Students selected for verification will be notified by email that the Aid Application Status Letter, explaining the required documentation to complete the verification process, is available on their e-services account. The Aid Application Status Letter will request specific information and/or documents required for verification. Self-reported information including household size or number attending college may be requested or documents including proof of citizenship or child support paid may be needed. The documentation requested will depend on the verification group the student is placed in, as chosen by Federal Student Aid or the College.
Students should submit all required documentation within 30 days of the request. The financial aid process will not continue until the required documentation is received. Not submitting the requested documentation in a timely manner may result in loss of eligibility for the current academic year.
Once all required documentation has been received, students should allow a minimum of 14 business days for the verification process to be completed. If the FAFSA data matches the verification information, the Financial Aid process will continue toward a complete and accurate file at which time the student Award Letter can be viewed on-line at saintpaul.edu under the student’s eServices account. Any FAFSA discrepancies found as a result of the verification process will be corrected by the Financial Aid Office and electronically submitted to the central processor. Upon receiving a corrected FAFSA report from the central processor, an Award Letter will be available to the student. Any cases of suspected fraud of misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds will be discussed with the College administration and referred to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education via Minnesota State.
Applying Financial Aid to Your Account
Financial Aid and other awards start applying to your student account during the third week of each semester. If you are using financial aid to pay your tuition and fees, you will have a balance on your account until the third week of classes. Students interested in charging books and supplies to their student accounts can do this through their Financial Aid award notification process. Any charges made through book charging will be added to your account and then paid when aid is applied.
Any remaining excess funds will be sent to the student with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. Visit https://www.bankmobiledisbursements.com/refundchoices/ for details.
After the first disbursement of the semester, aid applies weekly to student accounts on Wednesdays.
Financial Aid Policies & Procedures
If you withdraw from the College before the add/drop date for a semester, you will not receive financial aid funds because there will be no class registration. If you withdraw from attendance at the College for any reason after the add/ drop date for the semester, you will be placed on financial aid probation the following academic semester.
Students who receive financial aid and withdraw from all classes are subject to a Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy. The policy states that if you withdraw up through 60% of the semester, a proportional amount of financial aid either received or that was applied to your student account must be refunded to the Federal government.
Any institution refund calculated within the first four weeks of school semester will be applied to the student’s account to reduce the student’s share of the Return of Title IV Funds. Funds returned to the federal government are used to reduce the federal program amount from which funds were disbursed. Funds are returned in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
- Federal PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG Grant
Other assistance under Title IV for which a Return of Funds is required
After the institution’s share of any required refund to Title IV programs has been refunded, a proportional share of any remaining institutional refund (not to exceed the amount of the State grant payment the student initially received for the semester), must be returned to the State Grant Program.
Consortium Agreements for Financial Aid
If you are taking classes at another college which are required for your program at the College, you must complete a consortium agreement if you would like those courses considered for financial aid eligibility. The Consortium Agreement form is available online on the Financial Aid Forms page and also in Financial Aid, and must be completed with an attached registration form from the host institution and submitted to Financial Aid by the add/drop deadline. If a consortium agreement is not submitted, financial aid calculations cannot consider courses taken at the host school, as you cannot receive financial aid at two different schools during the same semester of enrollment.
Tuition & Fee Deferments
Tuition and fees will be deferred provided the following has been met by the posted tuition deadline for the semester:
- Student has received an Award Letter with financial aid eligibility equal to or greater than the tuition/fee charge. (Loan eligibility requires a submitted Promissory Note).
- An electronic Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) is received resulting from submission of a FAFSA.
- Any tuition/fee balance not covered by Financial Aid is the student’s payment responsibility.
Financial Aid Book Charging Process
An amount of $300 is provided to each student at the start of the semester to charge their course materials and supplies in the bookstore. To use this amount a student must be registered for courses and not have a hold on their account. By using the $300 credit amount the student becomes responsible for any book charges if Financial Aid or Third Party funding sources do not cover the cost of the course materials.
You may charge the cost of your books beyond the $300 credit prior to financial aid being disbursed if you meet all the following criteria:
- You are registered for current semester classes.
- You have received your Financial Aid Award Letter and have completed the loan acceptance, if you will be using loan funds to pay for books and supplies.
- The total financial aid you will be receiving, at your registered credit level, exceeds your current account balance.
Students using Third Party funding may have funds available beyond the $300 credit if the Third Party Authorization has been received and processed and the award is authorized to cover books and/or supplies. Please consult with the Third Party Coordinator to determine if your third party funds are eligible for charging in the Bookstore.
Financial Aid Book Charging allows students to charge books and supplies at the Saint Paul College Bookstore.
Special Circumstances/Income Review Adjustment
Federal laws governing financial aid allow the College Financial Aid Office to recalculate financial need in cases of special circumstances not taken into consideration by the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To ensure fairness and compliance with federal regulations, there are limits to which circumstances can be considered. Special circumstances are considered on a case by case basis.
For more detailed information on types of special circumstances and requirements for submitting an “Income Adjustment Appeal Form” go to saintpaul.edu/financialaidforms.
Dependency Override Appeal
Federal Student Aid determines a student’s status as dependent or independent by the answers the student provides on the thirteen questions listed in Step 3 of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are classified as dependent or independent because federal student aid programs are based on the principle that students (and their parents or spouse) are considered the primary source of support for postsecondary education. The Dependency Override process is used to address on a case-by-case basis a student who claims to be independent but does not meet the federal criteria. The student must demonstrate unique and extenuating circumstance.
For more detailed information on types of extenuating circumstances given consideration and requirements for submitting a “Dependency Override Appeal: Student Information/Recourse Statement” form go to saintpaul.edu/financialaidforms.
Audited Courses and Credit for Prior Learning
Audited courses and Credit for Prior Learning are not eligible for Financial Aid.
Credits for which financial aid is disbursed under a consortium agreement will be recorded as consortium agreement credits and will be included in the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid.
Developmental Education Courses & English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Courses
Developmental Education courses and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses will be included in the cumulative GPA. English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses and up to 30 credits of Developmental Education coursework will be excluded from the 150% maximum time frame calculation.
Courses may be repeated for financial aid eligibility for “F”, “W”, “FN”, or “FW” grades or if program requirements require a higher grade. The cumulative GPA will use the highest grade achieved. To request the opportunity to repeat a course for the third time, students should meet with their Pathway Advisor. Courses repeated a third time require registration permission. The cumulative completion rate includes all repeated courses.
Tax Benefits for Education
Tax credits, deductions and savings plans can help taxpayers with their expenses for higher education.
- A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax you may have to pay. Education credits include the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
- 1098-T Tuition statements are issued in January.
- Please visit for additional information: www.minnstate.edu/system/finance/taxinformation
- A deduction reduces the amount of your income that is subject to tax, thus generally reducing the amount of tax you may have to pay.
- Certain savings plans allow the accumulated interest to grow tax-free until money is taken out (known as a distribution), or allow the distribution to be tax-free, or both.
- An exclusion from income means that you won’t have to pay income tax on the benefit you’re receiving, but you also won’t be able to use that same tax-free benefit for a deduction or credit.