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Minnesota Resident Status


To be eligible as a Minnesota resident for most state financial aid programs, a student must meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a Minnesota high school while residing in Minnesota and, if currently residing in another state, physically attending a Minnesota college.
  • Received a GED in Minnesota after living in the state for at least one year.
  • The student lived in Minnesota for at least one year for other than educational purposes (was not enrolled for more than 5 credits in any term during that time). This does not have to be the initial year the student lived in Minnesota.
  • Is a member (or spouse or dependent of) of the U.S. armed forces stationed in Minnesota for active federal military service.
  • Is a spouse or dependent of a veteran who is a Minnesota resident.
  • Is an active member, or a spouse or dependent of that member, of the state's National Guard who resides in Minnesota or an active member, or a spouse or dependent of that member, of the reserve component of the United States armed forces whose duty station is located in Minnesota and who resides in Minnesota.
  • Relocated to Minnesota within 12 months of a presidential disaster area declaration if the disaster disrupted the student's postsecondary education.
  • Is a refugee who immediately settled in Minnesota and has continued to reside in Minnesota.
  • For dependent student: The applicant's parent(s) legal state of residence on the current FAFSA was Minnesota at the time when the financial aid application was submitted.
  • For independent student: The student originally met the resident definition as a dependent applicant, and has not moved from the state since that time.
  • Is married to a Minnesota resident (applies to the Postsecondary Child Care Grant program only).

Effective July 1, 2013, undocumented students who meet the conditions in the MN Dream Act are also considered to be Minnesota residents eligible for state financial aid. Students who do not meet the MN Dream Act conditions but are lawfully present or legally residing when they meet ONE of the above criteria for Minnesota resident status are considered resident students.  For example, students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protective Status (TPS), certain types of Visas, or who have Asylum Pending status will be eligible for state financial aid.

Students and their families are not penalized for leaving the state to serve in the military or missionary service, or to attend college in another state in they retained Minnesota as their state of legal residence.

Residency requirements may vary for different loans, scholarships, or tuition rates.

If there are any questions about a student's residency status, contact the financial aid office at the school the student is attending or wishes to attend, and explain the family situation.