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Eligible Distance Learner Status


Students enrolled in online or telecommunications courses are eligible for most types of financial aid.

However, to be eligible for some forms of federal financial aid, a student enrolled in correspondence courses must:

  • attend an institution where at least half the students enroll in on-campus courses. A limited number of schools are exempt from this.

  • attend a program that offers at least one day of instruction each week.

  • be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or an eligible non-citizen.

Students also may be eligible for a loan from the Minnesota Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF) Program.

Undergraduate Minnesota residents may qualify for assistance from the Minnesota State Grant Program if the institution is physically located in Minnesota and participates in the program. The method of educational delivery is not considered when determining eligibility for or the amount of the state grant. If enrolled in an exclusively online program, the program must be offered through the Minnesota location. In other words, the student's registration and credential granted must be from the Minnesota school. The Minnesota State Grant may not be used at out-of-state schools.

To learn more about your financial aid eligibility as a distance learner, talk with a financial aid administrator at the institution you are considering or check if the school has administrative and support services available online. Most aid, regardless of the original source, is dispersed through the school's aid administrator.

Also remember to ask questions that help you identify program and technical requirements as well as the academic and technical support available.