A financial aid package may include a mixture of grants, loans, and/or work study (student employment) funds. 

Grants

Grants are determined through the financial aid application process. A grant is an award that does not have to be repaid. Eligibility is based on need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status. There are a variety of grants and other awards available to eligible students. 

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

As part of the federal government Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, higher education institutions across the nation received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds. Century College and all institutions of higher education must disburse these funds to college students determined eligible by the U.S. Department of Education and whose education was disrupted when higher education institutions converted face-to-face courses to distance education and virtual formats. The funds must be used to cover expenses related to students’ cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

By statutory guidance, Century College is distributing the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to students through two types of awards: (1) CARES Base Awards (grant aid) that will be provided directly to eligible Century students and (2) CARES Special Circumstances Awards (grants) - additional need-based emergency grants to students who qualify for the CARES Base Awards.

Century College received $2,498,136 to distribute to eligible students enrolled in Spring 2020 semester. Using the eligibility guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State, Century College identified 5,215 eligible students. As of May 13, 2020, 5,215 students have received a total of $2,342,975 in CARES Act funds. The other remaining $155,161 amount will be distributed to eligible students via CARES Special Circumstances grant application approvals this May-June 2020 for Spring 2020 applications and this coming August-December for Fall 2020 applications.

CARES Act FAQs

Read Century College's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the CARES Act here.

What is the CARES Base Award (Grant Aid)?

Century College will distribute the majority of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds as CARES Base Award (grant aid) to all eligible Century students. The funds distributed as CARES Base Award aid are meant to help students pay expenses considered as the student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare due to COVID-19 related disruptions. If students have yet to experience financial stress due to COVID-19, these funds can help with upcoming unanticipated expenses.

Who is eligible for the CARES Base Awards?

The U.S. Department of Education required Century College and all higher education institutions to prioritize the majority of the funds to support students with the greatest financial need and also allowed us to provide a smaller amount of funds for students who did not file a FAFSA, but would have otherwise been eligible to file a FAFSA.

Based on the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State eligibility criteria, Century students enrolled as of the Friday prior to spring break (Friday, March 6, 2020), regardless of the number of credits for Spring 2020 semester, are eligible for a CARES Base Award as follows:

  • Currently enrolled students who have not filed a FAFSA, but who are eligible to file a FAFSA, will each receive $100.00 as CARES Base Award aid. The award will be directly provided to students in cash funds. (Eligibility to file a FAFSA includes criteria such as: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; valid SSN; registration with Selective Services (if male); and high school diploma, GED, or equivalent).
  • Currently enrolled students who have a FAFSA on file will receive $575.00 as CARES Base Award aid provided directly to students in cash funds.

All Century students, regardless of eligibility, have received communications regarding CARES Act funding based on all the guidelines listed above and those communicated by the federal government and Minnesota State.

Who is ineligible for the CARES Base Awards?

Institutions must use the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be eligible to receive the CARES Act funds. Unfortunately, that means that not all students enrolled in higher education institutions across our nation can receive CARES Base Awards.

Using the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State guidelines, Century College students excluded from receiving CARES Base Award funds are students:

  • not enrolled in face-to-face courses and enrolled exclusively in online courses in Spring 2020 semester prior to the COVID-19 emergency,
  • ineligible to file a FAFSA: non-U.S. citizen or not an eligible noncitizen, concurrent enrolled high school students, postsecondary enrollment option students (PSEO)
  • being assessed senior citizen tuition rates,
  • enrolled in non-credit courses,
  • incarcerated,
  • withdrawn from Spring semester courses and were not enrolled as of March 6, 2020, or
  • Minnesota State employees whose tuition is covered by a Tuition Waiver.

Although Century is unable to provide all students with support through these funds, qualifying students should still apply for student financial aid by filing a FAFSA. In addition, Century’s Counseling Services and the Resource and Support Center connects students to community resources for food, housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, etc. The Century College Foundation provides emergency assistance grants and scholarships that students can apply for. Visit the Resource and Support Center for more information and to access basic needs resources. You can also schedule an appointment through Starfish with a counselor to discuss other emergency funding options or contact the Advising, Counseling, and Career Center at acc@century.edu or 651-779-3285.

All Century students, regardless of eligibility, have received communications regarding CARES Act funding based on all the guidelines listed above and those communicated by the federal government and Minnesota State.

How will the CARES Base Awards be distributed?

In order to expedite distribution of these funds, eligible students will receive their cash funds through direct deposit provided by BankMobile, the system that Century College uses to process funds to students. Students who already have their direct deposit in place with BankMobile will receive funds as soon as next week. Students who currently do not have direct deposit set up with BankMobile should take immediate action to visit the BankMobile web page for more information and to set up a direct deposit preference.  Students who do not set up a BankMobile direct deposit will delay receipt of their funds up to 2-3 weeks or more to allow for a paper check distribution process.

Students who receive CARES Base Award aid should note that the federal government has not issued guidance regarding the tax status of this disbursement. Please be advised this emergency assistance aid may be considered as income on your Federal and State 2020 tax returns. The Federal and State governments will provide that guidance at the time of filing in 2021.

What is the CARES Special Circumstances Awards (grant)?

CARES Special Circumstances Awards (grants) are available through an application process for eligible Century students and can be used to cover expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions in the same manner as the CARES Base Awards. These need-based emergency grant awards will be granted to students providing documentation of special circumstances in which these additional funds can help support and ensure students’ ability to continue their education at Century.

CARES Special Circumstances Awards can be used to cover expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions, such as, but not limited to: textbooks, course supplies and materials, testing fees, housing/rent, food/groceries, childcare, utilities, transportation, health/medical-related, computer/laptop, internet services, etc.

CARES Special Circumstances Award funds are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so all eligible students are encouraged to apply early. To help as many students as possible, maximum grant will be $500 per student for Fall 2020.

What is the process to apply for a CARES Special Circumstances Award?

Currently the process to apply for the Cares Special Circumstances Award is under review. We plan to open the application process in August. Please check again for updates. Any additional questions please feel free to reach out to the Financial aid Office at finaid@century.edu.

A committee will review applications for extraordinary circumstances based on the identified criteria. After the application is reviewed, the student will receive a message via their Century College email notifying them of the outcome. If approved, the message will also include how much funding will be awarded. Award amount decisions are not appealable.

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is gift assistance that does not have to be repaid. It is awarded only to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree (a professional degree is usually earned after earning a bachelor's degree in a field such as medicine, law, or dentistry). As of Fall 2012, students can only receive Pell Grants for the equivalent of 12 full time semesters.

Additional Pell Grant Funds for Summer Enrollment

Century College is proud to offer qualified students the option to finish college by giving additional Pell grants to those who want to catch up on or accelerate their studies by attempting additional course work - such as taking summer courses! Please feel free to contact the Century College Financial Aid office to learn how you can use a Pell grant for summer semester.

For more information about federal grants, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Student Financial Assistance website.

Lock Dates

Federal regulations require colleges to establish a Pell Grant lock date to determine the courses that are counted toward a student’s Pell Grant eligibility. Century College has established the 10th day of class as the lock date. Financial aid disbursements then begin on the 11th day of class based on your lock date enrollment.

Your class schedule MUST BE FIRM at the beginning of each term. Your Pell Grant cannot be increased if you decide to add a course after the 10th day of the term. If you drop a late start course, your Pell Grant may be adjusted to reflect the reduction in the total credit load EVEN IF you add another course of the same credit number.

To honor the college's rolling start initiatives, a student admitted to the college after the 10th day of the term will have a new Pell Grant lock date. To determine the courses that are counted toward a student's Pell Grant eligibility:

  • Session 2: the date will be the first day of Session 2 for students admitted between day 10 and the first day of Session 2.
  • Session 3: the date will be the first day of Session 3 for students admitted between the first day of Session 2 and the first day of Session 3.

Dropped Classes

Courses that are dropped and eligible for a tuition refund will have their Pell Grant eligibility reduced to the new credit level. This is because dropped courses do not show on a transcript, carry no tuition charges, and are not counted toward satisfactory academic progress. Therefore, dropped courses do not count towards Pell Grant eligibility.

​​​​​​​Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

A Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is gift aid for undergraduate students enrolled at least half time who have exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Additionally:

  • Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contribution will be the first to receive the SEOG
  • These funds do not have to be repaid
  • The amount awarded is based on the date of the application, financial need and availability of funds.

For more information, refer to Student Aid on the Web.

Minnesota State Grant

The Minnesota State Grant Program (MNSG) is need-based gift assistance that does not have to be repaid. The grant is available for the equivalent of eight full-time semesters. To be eligible for this grant, you cannot have a bachelor’s degree and must:

If you are in default on a student loan or are more than 30 days behind in child support payments, you are not eligible for a Minnesota State Grant (unless satisfactory payment arrangements have been made with the appropriate agency).

For more information, refer to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Minnesota Child Care Grant Program

Minnesota Dream Act

The Minnesota Dream Act provides certain benefits to undocumented students who meet the following criteria:

  • Attended a Minnesota high school for at least 3 years
  • Graduated from a Minnesota high school or earned a GED in Minnesota
  • Complied with Selective Service registration requirements (applies only to male students born after 1960)

Provide documentation to show they have applied for lawful immigration status but only if a federal process exists for a student to do so (does not include applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). There is currently not a federal process in place, so this documentation is not currently required.

Students who meet the criteria in the Minnesota Dream Act will be eligible to apply for the following benefits, regardless of immigration status :

  • In-state resident tuition rates at Minnesota public colleges and universities
  • Minnesota state financial aid available to students who meet state residency requirements
  • Privately funded financial aid through Minnesota public colleges and universities

For more information, refer to the Minnesota Dream Act.

Minnesota GI Bill

An applicant must be:

  • A veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch of the US Armed Forces at any time on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • A non-veteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a member of the MN National Guard or any other active or reserve component of the US Armed Forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • A surviving spouse or dependent of a person who has served in the military at any time on or after September 11, 2001, and who has died or has a total and permanent disability as a direct result of that military service.

The student must also:

  • Be a Minnesota resident
  • Apply for the MN GI Bill benefits before the last day of the term for which benefits are requested
  • Be less than 62 years old before the beginning of the term for which benefits are requested
  • Be current on child support obligations, if applicable
  • Be enrolled in an eligible MN postsecondary institution in a certificate, diploma, or degree program
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress in his or her academic program.

For more information, refer to the Minnesota GI Bill.

Scholarships

Century College offers a wide variety of scholarships to our students. Learn more about and apply for Century College Scholarships.

Loans

A loan is a type of financial aid that must be repaid. There may be several loan options available to eligible students who qualify. Loan awards are determined through the financial aid application process

Federal Direct Loans

All applicants for Federal Direct Loans are required to file a FAFSA online, have received a financial aid award notification from Century College for the appropriate semester, be enrolled in a minimum of six credits each semester for which you are requesting loan funds and maintain satisfactory academic progress. You must request your loan in eServices at least three class days prior to the end of the loan period. 

There are three types of Federal Direct loans: Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS.

All Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans will have two disbursements. For example, if you have a fall/spring loan, you will receive half in the fall and half in the spring. If you have one term loan, you will receive half at the beginning of the term/enrollment and the remaining half at the mid-point of the term. Students MUST be enrolled in 6 or more credits to receive a loan disbursement.

Federal Direct Subsidized loans are need based loans that do not accrue interest while the student is attending school at least half time. The student is the borrower and will be responsible for repaying this loan.

Maximum Eligibility Period

As of July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time that a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The student will not be eligible to receive the Direct Subsidized Loan for more than 150% of the published length of program that the student is enrolled in. Example: If a student is enrolled in a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which the student is eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150% of the equivalency of 2 years = 3 years).

If the student stays enrolled in the current program after the maximum eligibility period, the student will only be eligible to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The student will also become responsible for paying the interest that accrues on their Direct Subsidized Loans.

If the student changes programs to a different 2-year associate degree program, the maximum eligibility rule still applies. Additionally, the Direct Subsidized Loans that were borrowed in the previous program will still generally count against the new maximum eligibility period.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans are non-need based loans that do accrue interest while the student is in school. The student is the borrower and will be responsible for repaying this loan.

Requesting your Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Log in to eServices account using your StarID. On the left side of the screen, click Financial Aid then Loans.

Enter all necessary information on the following screens and then click Next to move to the next section.

  1. Loan Period
    Verify Award Year and Award Year Term
  2. Pre-Requirements
    Review the requirements. If there is a checkmark in the box, it has been completed. If the box is not checkmarked, you need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling and/or Master Promissory Note (MPN). Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed before loan funds are certified.
  3. Loan Application
    Review your loan eligibility. Select the amount of Federal Direct Loan assistance you would like to receive. Choose either:
    Total loan amount for the loan period OR Reduced loan amount for the loan period and enter the amount you are requesting.
    All loans will have two disbursements. For example, if you have a fall/spring loan, you will receive half in fall and half in spring. If you have a one term loan, you will receive half at the beginning of the term and half at the mid-point of the term.
  4. Application Summary
    Review the Application Summary bullet points.
    Check the box to indicate that you understand the conditions.
    Click Submit Loan Application button to submit your loan request.

Once your loan request has been submitted, you can check the status of your request at any time by following steps 1, 2 and 3 above. Processing is complete once the loan status says Certified.

Loan Proration

An undergraduate Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrower is subject to certain prorated loan limits if they are enrolled in a program of study that is less than 24 credits. Loan limits must also be prorated if the program's duration is 24 credits or more, but the borrower is completing the remainder of the program in a period of enrollment that is shorter than an academic year, such as with a fall term graduation.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) program provides loans to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The parent is the borrower of the PLUS Loan and is responsible for paying the interest and principal on the loan.

Requesting the Federal Direct PLUS Loan

The application process for the PLUS loan consists of the parent logging in at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action website with their FSA ID.

  • Click on "Apply for a PLUS Loan"
  • Click on "Complete PLUS Request for Parents"
    • Complete #1 - School & Loan Info
      • Note - Under "Loan Amount Requested," check "I would like to specify a loan amount" and enter the amount in the "Loan Amount Requested" box.
    • Complete #2 - Borrower Info
    • Complete #3 - Review Request
    • Complete #4 - Credit check & Submit

If the parent is denied a PLUS Loan due to adverse credit, the student may be able to apply for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds. Information regarding this topic can be requested from the Financial Aid Office.

Repayment Information

If you receive a Federal Direct Loan, the information is sent to your loan servicer and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). For details about your Federal loans, repayment plans or to explore other payment options, we encourage you to contact your servicer. If you are not sure who your loan servicer is, you can access this information through NSLDS using your FSA ID. It is in your best interest to have regular communication with your loan servicer as failure to repay will have consequences. Other state and federal agencies, colleges and credit companies will have access to information about the loans you agree to repay.

Here is more information regarding Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans: Federal Student Aid

Private Student Loan Options

Private Student Loans are available through various lenders. Students who do not qualify for a Direct Loan or find that they need additional funding may want to consider this alternative.

Students should learn about a Private Student Loan before completing an online application. Carefully review which loan is the best fit, whether you are a student or parent. Become familiar with the terms of each loan such as the interest rate and how it is calculated, required enrollment level, are there any fees associated with the loan, repayment terms, whether or not a co-signer is required, is satisfactory progress at the college a requirement, deferment and forbearance options available, rights and responsibilities for borrowing this loan, and if there may be a look-back feature available for financing past due balances. All of these details should be considered and researched before applying for a Private Student Loan.

View a historical Private Student Loan lender list. Students do not need to choose one of the lenders on this list. A student may choose any lender who participates in the Private Student Loan Program.

Student Employment

Student employment (work-study) is your opportunity to gain valuable work experience, transferable life skills, and is a form of financial aid to help cover some of your educational expenses. Work-study positions require minimal experience, offer a flexible work schedule and can be both fun and rewarding. Learn more by visiting Student Employment