We know that the cost of higher education is a barrier for many Minnesotans. The Fostering Independence Higher Education Grants is a financial aid program that seeks to eliminate that barrier for Minnesota students who were in the foster care system.
If you are a Minnesota resident under age 27 and were in the Minnesota foster care system at any point after you thirteenth birthday, this grant may cover the cost of attendance at any eligible Minnesota public or participating private college and university. Accessing the grant is as simple as filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) OR Minnesota Dream Act application. Both applications include a question about foster care; the Minnesota Department of Human Services confirms your information. If you are eligible, your postsecondary institution will award the grant as part of your financial aid package.
Fostering Independence Higher Education Grants are available to eligible Minnesota students attending any eligible institution in the state. Eligible institutions include the state universities, the University of Minnesota, public community and technical colleges, participating tribal colleges and private institutions. Foster Grants may not be used at out-of-state schools.
To apply for the grant, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form OR Minnesota Dream Act application. Completing the applicable form will serve as the application for receiving a Fostering Independence Higher Education Grant, as well as other grants and financial aid resources.
If you receive a Fostering Independence Higher Education Grant, each year you will need to reapply via the FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act to be considered for the grant.
Once you have completed your FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act application, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will confirm your foster youth status. The first choice school you list on your application will be notified of your eligibility for the Foster Grant and will complete a school certification. If you are eligible for a Fostering Independence Higher Education Grant, the award will be included on your financial aid award notice from your postsecondary institution.
The Fostering Independence Higher Education Grant is intended as a 'last dollar' financial aid program.
If you attend a Minnesota public institution, the award will be determined after subtracting the following from your cost of attendance:
If you attend a participating Minnesota private institution, the recognized cost of attendance will the lesser of the federal Title IV cost of attendance at the institution or the highest federal Title IV cost of attendance for a public 2-year institution or public 4-year institution in Minnesota. The cost of attendance used for federal Title IV financial aid includes tuition and fees, an allowance for books, supplies, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, and room and board.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, Minnesota’s highest public 4-year cost of attendance is estimated to be $34,016. The highest public 2-year cost of attendance is estimated to be $24,942. At participating private institutions, the award will be determined after subtracting the following from the recognized cost of attendance:
Participating private institutions have agreed to provide institutional grants, scholarships, tuition waivers or remission to cover the gap between what is not covered from the list above and the school's federal Title IV cost of attendance.
In order to be considered for the grant, you must reapply via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or MN Dream Act each year. An eligible undergraduate student may receive a Foster Grant in any year of study unless: the student has earned a baccalaureate degree, has attended the equivalent of 8 full time semesters, or received a Foster Grant for five years. Additionally, students enrolled in a 2-year degree, certificate or diploma programs are limited to 3 annual awards or the equivalent. Students enrolled in a 4-year undergraduate degree program are limited to 5 annual awards or the equivalent.
Please contact the Office of Higher Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 642-0567 and select option 2.