Starting in Fall 2024, Minnesota’s new North Star Promise Scholarship program will establish a tuition and fee-free pathway to higher education for all eligible Minnesota students.

Winona State University is thrilled to offer the North Star Promise scholarship to our students. This scholarship opens the doors of higher education to new prospective students across the state, and Winona State is the perfect place for them to enroll. We have over 200 majors and programs to choose from, and are the number one university in the Minnesota State system.

Tania Schmidt

Director of Admissions, Winona State University

Eligible students for the North Star Promise Scholarship must come from households with a family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) below $80,000. The scholarship covers the balance of tuition and fees remaining after other scholarships, grants, stipends and tuition waivers have been applied.

“Both new entering first-year students and returning students are eligible for the North Star Promise Scholarship,” Schmidt said.

Pierre Gage, a senior iDesign student at Winona State, described how this scholarship program will impact future college students and their families.

“[This would help with] being able to actually afford college and not stress so much about being financially stable,” said Gage. “The majority of underrepresented communities rely heavily on grants and overage payments to survive.”

Another way it would help, Gage said, is by leveling the playing field for those who aren’t financially supported by their parents, but still have to record their parents’ financial information when seeking assistance.

“Not all people have their parents in their lives so that always creates a major issue,” Gage said.

With an estimated 15,000 students statewide benefiting from the program in its first year of implementation, the North Star Promise will have generational impact and lead to life-changing opportunities.

At a Glance

Eligible students must:

  • Be a Minnesota resident
  • Have a family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) below $80,000 (FAFSA or MN Dream Act application)
  • Attend a Minnesota public higher education institution or Tribal College
  • Not be in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Have not already earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Be enrolled in a program or course of study that applies to a degree, diploma, or certificate

Application Process:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Minnesota Dream Act Application.
  • That’s it! The Financial Aid office will determine your eligibility on a term-by-term basis and award North Star Promise scholarships to all eligible students.

For more information, visit Minnesota North Star Promise Scholarship Program.