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.
Information on Grants
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.
For more information about federal grants, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Student Financial Assistance website.
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.
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:
- Meet the Minnesota residency requirement (as defined by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education)
- Be a graduate of a secondary school or equivalent
- Be at least 17 years old
- Attend at least three credits per semester and maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online within 30 days of the school’s semester start date
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.
Occupational Grant Program
This program provides financial assistance to students enrolled in qualifying career and technical programs so students can complete the program within two years or less and find employment in a high-demand occupation. Learn more about this grant.
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.
Information on Loans
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.
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.
- Loan Period
Verify Award Year and Award Year Term
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Complete #1 - School & Loan Info
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.
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.
To view a historical Private Student Loan lender list, click here. Note - 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 (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.