North Star Promise covers “last dollar” for tuition

Starting in Fall 2024, the North Star Promise Scholarship Program will be applied to all eligible Minnesota residents at eligible institutions. The program covers the remaining tuition balance on a fee-free basis after all scholarships, grants, and tuition waivers are applied.

“All those other things will go on to the student’s account first, and then if the student still has a tuition and fee balance, that’s where the Northstar promise steps in and covers the remainder,” said Associate Director of Financial Aid Rachel Sherlock. “This is specifically for Minnesota resident students, and Minnesota resident students who have a family adjusted gross income on the FAFSA application, or for a Dream Act students on their Minnesota Dream Act application of below $80,000.”

The North Star Promise Scholarship Program’s goal is to stabilize enrollment in Minnesota public institutions of higher education. According to the MN Office of Higher Education, it will “create a viable higher education path for Minnesota residents who may have previously thought education was not a possibility for them.”

Students don’t need to meet a specific credit range to be eligible for the program. However, students must be enrolled in a program that is evaluated as a degree, diploma, or certificate. 

“For non-degree-seeking students, this wouldn’t apply to students,” said Sherlock. “This has to be their first bachelor’s degree, so for second bachelor’s degree students or graduate students, this would not apply.” 

Additionally, students have to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. If a student is on suspension, then they would not be eligible for the program.

“They can’t be in default on any state or federal student loans,” said Sherlock. “So all of their loans have to be in good standing.”

The North Star Promise Scholarship Program application is based on the student’s 2024 to 2025 FAFSA, which is already open to fill out. According to Sherlock, institutions will start receiving copies of that application in the middle of March. However, the financial aid office expects to see official awards information in the middle of summer, which will allow students to see if they qualify for the program.

“The good news for students is that it’s actually not a separate application,” said Sherlock. “So if students have applied for the FAFSA, if they filled that out, we’re going to automatically review them to see if they’re eligible.”

Students can receive additional information at the Campus Hub or by making an appointment with a financial aid advisor.

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

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