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Scholarships and Aid

Paying for college can be difficult, but there are many people and resources to help you.

Although college prices continue to rise, they may not be as high as you might think. And few students or families are expected to pay, out of pocket, the full two- or four-year price of attendance. So don't let the apparent cost turn you away.

Financial aid is available to most students and comes in three forms:


Types of Financial Aid

    • Grants are money awarded from federal and state governments based on need and eligibility.
    • Your eligibility is determined when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
    • Grants usually come from federal and state governments and are sent directly to the school.
    • Grants are awards you do not have to repay.
    • Scholarships are money awarded based on a student's academic or athletic achievement, cultural or religious background, or special skills and talents.
    • Denfeld students are very fortunate to have many, many scholarship opportunities. See the bulletin below to find scholarships to apply for or stop in the Career Center.

    • Scholarships are awards you do not have to repay.
    • Work Study is money earned from an on-or off campus job offered to students through a college's financial aid office that enables you to help pay the cost of attending college.
    • Work Study is an award you do not have to repay.
  • LOANS:
    • Money you borrow from federal or state governments or private entities. 
    • Although the least desirable form of financial aid, student loan programs allow you to borrow money at interest rates that are lower than loans not intended for education. And you may be able to defer interest payments until after you graduate.
    • Student loans are useful if you don't qualify for scholarships or grants, enroll at a college or university out of state, or you receive some grant money, but need additional assistance to meet expenses.

    • There are a variety of loan options available to both you and your family from the federal and state governments as well as private lenders. It's important to evaluate your loan options and understand loan terminology before deciding which type of loan is right for you. 
    • Loans you do have to repay, usually with interest.


There are five basic steps to apply for financial aid:

  1. Apply for admission to one or more colleges.
  2. Apply for financial aid at using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in December 2023. Undocumented and DACAmented students should use the state financial aid application (MN Dream Act) available at: instead of the FAFSA. 
  3. Apply for scholarships and grants offered by the state, colleges, and other sources. Ask for applications from your Career Center or find them online, find resources listed at the bottom of this page.
  4. Receive college admittance letters (timing varies).
  5. Receive letters from colleges outlining your financial aid eligibility (usually March 1 or later, depending on when you submitted your FAFSA or MN Dream Act Application), and respond accordingly.


To receive federal and state financial aid, you’ll need to fill out and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is used to determine your financial need, which is the difference between the total cost of attendance and what you and your family are able to contribute to your education.

To determine this, the form requires you to submit information about your family’s income and assets, and your status as a resident. Your completed FAFSA will be made available to all the schools you designate.

Once your need is determined you will receive a “financial aid package” from the colleges you have applied to for you to review.

This package consists of any Federal Pell Grants, Minnesota State Grants and any other financial aid offered by colleges and universities you are eligible to receive. Your financial aid may also be supplemented with loan and work study funds.


Attend FAFSA Night:


Scholarship 101

Denfeld students are very fortunate to have many, many scholarship opportunities available to them.

Where do I start?
First attend the annual Denfeld Scholarship Night on Monday, November 6th @ 5:30-7:00pm in the Auditorium
  • If you cannot attend stop by the Career Center to pick up a Scholarship Folder.
  • Also review and read through the entire Denfeld Scholarship Night Presentation.
Attend Scholarship WIN's:
  • Scholarship WIN's offer weekly assistance with finding and filling out scholarship applications.
  • Look for emails sent out by Guidance Counselors and the Career Center Coordinator inviting you to these sessions. Sign up as a WIN offering on Mondays to attend.
Check out the Scholarship Bulletin:
  • The Scholarship Bulletin is updated frequently with a variety of scholarships organized by application deadlines.
  • These scholarships are available for the 2024 graduating class.

  • Stop by the Career Center if you have any questions, need assistance or a paper copy of an application.

  • Many scholarships in Spring are just beginning to open. Dates, applications and links to apply will be updated as they are received with the 2024 deadlines.

Tips for Successful Scholarship Applications:
  • Apply using a personal email! Your Denfeld email will be deactivated after you graduate and you'll miss out on important communications from scholarship providers.
  • Type up your scholarship essays, short answers and resume in one document. You'll save your time filling out scholarship application answers by having them saved in one spot.
  • Ask your teachers/coaches/counselors/etc. to write your Letters of Recommendations for you earlier than later. Don't leave this to the last minute otherwise they might not have time, or have had too many other students ask them to accommodate writing one for you.
  • File the FAFSA! A lot of scholarships also want you to file the FAFSA as a requirement first, not to mention the Federal Grants and Institutional ones you’re opening up.
  • Only apply for scholarships that you 100% meet the requirements for. That means not applying for one even if you have 3 out of the 4 requirements. You won’t win, and your time is better spent applying for ones you completely qualify for.
  • Keep an application calendar! Keep track of the due dates and block out some time every day (attend a scholarship WIN!) to work a little bit on applications. Take it slowly, instead of rushing as the deadline approaches.
  • Stop by the Career Center (Room 1010) for application help, proofreading, forms, and getting all questions answered.

click here for the Complete list of scholarships to apply for

Types of Scholarships:

There are three main types of scholarships you will find to apply to. These are Local, Regional and National. With so many scholarships applications out there learn more below about the differences and how to prioritize which ones to apply to first.