MNAid to offer financial aid help for college students with undocumented status

An often cumbersome and confusing process of applying for financial aid will hopefully become more transparent for potential college students, as the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) has launched a new student portal and application process that provides a similar filing experience to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Known as MNAid, the secure platform helps undocumented Minnesotans complete their financial aid application through a Student Portal similar to that used at most universities.

The MNAid Student Portal allows users to save application progress, access award notices, and securely upload verification documents.

An applicant who does not have a current Social Security number is assigned a unique Minnesota Dream Act ID Number. 

Enacted into state law in July 2013, the Minnesota Dream Act has provided undocumented students with the ability to apply for state financial aid for college and qualify for reduced tuition rates at Minnesota institutions.

"We want to reduce obstacles and ensure Minnesota Dream Act applicants have a high-quality student experience that is user-friendly and intuitive by investing in technology and tools that can streamline this process from start to finish," OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson said in an announcement. "When we eliminate those barriers, we reinforce the message that every Minnesotan who has the desire to earn a credential should be supported to do that, from applying for financial aid to earning their degree."

The 2023-24 Minnesota Dream Act is currently open for students who plan to attend post-secondary institutions this fall.