Officials at the University of Minnesota are reminding current and prospective students that a recent expansion to the University of Minnesota Promise (U Promise) Scholarship program makes more Minnesota students eligible for need-based aid than ever before.
At the beginning of the current academic year, a new middle-income tuition aid program was combined with an existing low-income scholarship program (the Founders Free Tuition Program) to form U Promise. The newly expanded program now also guarantees need-based aid to Minnesota resident undergraduates from families making up to $100,000 per year and does not have to be repaid.
U Promise scholarships are awarded automatically to students, based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“Students and their families should complete the FAFSA form; if they qualify, they automatically get the aid,” said Provost Tom Sullivan. “There isn’t a separate application process.”
Eligible Minnesota resident undergraduates enrolled at any of the university’s five campuses will receive one of the following scholarships:
• The U Promise Free Tuition Scholarship (previously named the Founders Free Tuition Program) ensures that 100 percent of tuition and fees are covered, if the student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and his/her state and federal gift aid does not cover the full cost of university tuition and fees.
• The U Promise Middle Income Scholarship, worth up to $1,750, if the student is not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant but has a family income of up to $100,000.
The expanded U Promise Scholarship started with the Fall 2009 semester. During that semester, 13,329 students—or 42.2 percent of the resident undergraduate student population—received aid through the program.
President Robert Bruininks says that student financial support—especially need-based aid— is one of his top fundraising priorities. “The U Promise scholarship expands our groundbreaking need-based aid strategies to include students from middle-income Minnesota families,” said Bruininks. “Often students from lower-income families have access to greater levels of scholarship support. Clearly, support for middle-income students was the next frontier—the area of greatest unmet need. The U Promise scholarship enables the University to invest in the future of even more Minnesota students.”
For more information about U Promise Scholarships, go to www.umn.edu.