How to Apply for Financial Aid

The financial aid application process runs concurrent to the admission process.  For full consideration for all sources of aid please adhere to the deadlines listed below. For many, financial aid plays an important role in choosing a college and our goal is to provide you with accurate and timely information to help you make your decision.

Note for Transfer Students: Transfer students applying for merit scholarships should follow the same directions as first-year students. These scholarship applications are due at the same time as the application for admission.

Step 1: Complete your Application for Admission to St. Olaf College.

Early Decision 1 and Early Decision 2 candidates must apply by November 15 or January 8, respectively, and Regular Decision candidates must apply for admission by January 15. For further details, see the Dates and Deadlines page.

All students are considered for Academic and Service scholarships during the admission review process.  Students applying for Fine Arts Scholarships must submit separate applications. Please click here for more information about applying for merit scholarships at St. Olaf.

Step 2: Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

St. Olaf requires all first-year students who wish to be considered for institutional need-based aid to complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The PROFILE is available online. You must include St. Olaf’s school code, 6638, in order for the St. Olaf Financial Aid Office to receive your results.

There is a fee required to complete the PROFILE.  Fee waiver eligibility is calculated and granted automatically by the CollegeBoard when completing the PROFILE and is based primarily on family income.

To learn more, click here: All about the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

Or, for general questions, click here: CSS/Financial Aid Profile Student Guide.

If your parents are separated or divorced or were never married, St. Olaf will consider both biological parents’ information when determining eligibility for institutional need-based grants.  The custodial parent (the parent with whom you lived the most in the last 12 months) and step-parent (if applicable) should complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.  Once you and your custodial parent have submitted the PROFILE, you will receive an email alerting you that your noncustodial parent also needs to complete a PROFILE. You will be sent a link that you should forward to your noncustodial parent. This will correctly link both PROFILEs to your record.

Step 3: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 1 of the spring before you start at St. Olaf (most often the senior year of high school). Enter St. Olaf’s FAFSA Code 002382 to have your results sent directly to St. Olaf. You can complete your FAFSA online.

The FAFSA is required to determine your eligibility for all federal and state based financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans or Minnesota State Grant.

Students who wish to apply for federal/state aid only (and do not wish to be considered for St. Olaf need-based grants) may do so without cost by completing the FAFSA. Students in this situation do not need to complete the CSS PROFILE.

Find out more information about what is needed for the FAFSA.

If your parents are separated or divorced or were never married, only the custodial parent (the parent with whom you lived the most in the last 12 months) should complete the FAFSA.  If that parent has remarried, then your step-parent’s financial information should also be reported on the FAFSA.

Step 4: Submit tax and other documents.

Students applying for need-based institutional aid must also submit copies of their own (if applicable) and their parents’ 2014 federal tax returns, W-2’s, and accompanying schedules to the Financial Aid Office.  While this step is not required in order for us to create a financial aid award for you, it will ensure that the award we present is as accurate as possible.

This information is due by March 1st.

Please submit these documents via DocEx. DocEx is a secure electronic transmission method. Please enter as the recipient.

Award Notifications

Assuming you have completed Steps 1 and 2 by the priority deadlines you can expect a financial aid award notification to be sent to you in mid-December for Early Decision 1, on or before February 15 for Early Decision 2, and on or before April 1 for Regular applicants.

If you apply after our priority financial aid deadlines, we will process your application as quickly as possible.