Financial Aid, Loans & Grants

The primary form of funding for graduate students is through federal and private educational loan programs.  Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents can complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered for federal loans.

Students must be degree-seeking and enrolled at least half­time (three credits per term) to be eligible for federal loans.

International students can pursue private loans. You will need a credit worthy U.S. citizen as a co­signer.

NOTE – The University of Minnesota financial aid office does not award fellowships, scholarships, or graduate assistantships. These awards come from your department, school, college, or an outside donor. The role of the financial aid office is to include these awards in the final financial aid package the student receives from the University.

Basic FAFSA Instructions

See this One Stop link for basic financial aid information:

  • Go to to complete your FAFSA.
  • You will need to create an FSA ID at the FAFSA website before you start the process.
  • If you are starting school fall semester, complete the FAFSA in the early spring before your fall enrollment.
  • Students requesting aid for fall 2016 need to complete the 2016-17 FAFSA.
  • Add the University of Minnesota federal school code (003969) to have your FAFSA data sent to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.
  • Keep your FSA ID in a safe place. You will need it later to complete the online Master Promissory Note, the online Entrance Counseling, and other loan requirements.

Financial aid awarding

  • Loan awarding for the fall/spring period begins in mid-July, and continues weekly thereafter.
  • You will be notified via an email communication sent to your University email account when it is time to respond to your loan offers.
  • Summer aid is awarded separately (in early May) to all students enrolled at least half­time.
  • Graduate students are offered two types of federal loans: an unsubsidized loan and a Grad Plus loan.
  • Loans are disbursed directly into your student account and applied to any charges owing. Any money left over is returned to the student for living expenses.
  • Fall aid first disburses at the end of August, and continues weekly thereafter. Spring aid disburses in January; summer aid disburses in June.
  • Refunds are sent electronically to your bank account; sign up for direct deposit on MyU.

Private loans must be certified by the school. The loan amount cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance.

Questions about financial aid?

Contact One Stop at or 612.624.1111. You can also contact Liz Holm at or 612.624.4138.


Grants are often used for research and continued study.

The Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) is an interactive database containing sponsored funding information. Students may search SPIN for funding opportunities for sources of research support.

Doctoral Research: The Juran Fellowship Program provides financial support for several PhD research projects at the University of Minnesota. Annual awards of $5,000 or $10,000 fund research proposals related to quality management principles.

International Students: International students (non-immigrant visa holders in F-1 and J-1 student status) in the final stages of their degree may apply for funding through the office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Priority is given to students demonstrating financial hardship.

Global Programs and Strategy Alliance: The GPS Alliance administers a number of programs that support international learning and research experiences of graduate and professional students.

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