What Is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is money to help pay for college. Financial aid comes in three main forms:
- Aid you don’t repay (grants and scholarships)
- Aid you must repay (loans)
- Aid you earn (work-study and military assistance)
There are many different types of financial aid available to students. They all are unique and offer distinct benefits to those who qualify. All students considering financial aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and enter Ridgewater’s college code 005252.
If your financial situation changes after you have completed the FAFSA, or if you feel the FAFSA does not accurately reflect your current family and/or income circumstances, please contact our office at 800-722-1151 for more information or to set up an appointment with our director.
What to Know
- Types of Financial Aid to Consider
- Grants – Aid that does not require repayment. Apply for federal grants through the FAFSA application. If you are eligible to receive grants, this money will be automatically applied to your account on the disbursement date according to the number of credits you are taking.
- Loans – Various student loan programs requiring repayment, typically with interest. Apply for federal student loans through the FAFSA application. If you are approved to receive federal loans, refer to your award letter for information about the three (3) steps needed to process your loans.
- Work Study – Paid employment through the college. Fill out the FAFSA application to find out if you are eligible for work-study positions. Information about work-study and how to find jobs are explained in your award letter if you were awarded work-study. This money is paid out after timesheets are submitted.
- Scholarships – Aid provided by organizations that does not require repayment. You can apply for Ridgewater Scholarships each semester through the Ridgewater College Foundation online scholarship application. Awards are applied directly to your student account.
- Financial Aid Disbursement & Direct Deposit
The Disclosure Statement emailed or mailed to you from the Department of Education will let you know what the disbursement date(s) will be for your loan. Please allow 3-4 days processing time from that date for the disbursement to be deposited into your account or mailed to you.
Financial Aid Disbursement Dates and Information for the 2021-22 School Year:
- Fall Semester 2021 – September 3, 2021
- Spring Semester 2022 – January 24, 2022
- Summer Semester 2022 – June 13, 2022
Sign up for direct deposit:
- Log into eServices
- Click on the Financial Aid tab
- Choose Direct Deposit set-up
- Follow the prompts
- Information for Students using Financial Aid
- Information for Undocumented or Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) Students
The MN Dream Act, also known as the Prosperity Act, provides certain opportunities to students who are undocumented or have Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) status and meet eligibility criteria:
- Attended a Minnesota high school for at least 3 years (does not have to be consecutive) ; and
- Graduated from a Minnesota high school or earned a GED in Minnesota; and
- Registered with the U.S. Selective Service (applies only to males 18 to 25 years old); and
- 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 DACA status). There is currently no federal process in place, so documentation is not currently required.
The complete details on eligibility and the Dream Act Application are available at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Dream Act website. If you have more questions or need to arrange for translation services please contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education grant unit at 800-567-3866. If you have questions on the Dream Act application as it pertains to Ridgewater College please contact our equity & inclusion specialist.
- Financial Aid Forms
Please note: You must fill out a FAFSA application online.
- Financial Aid Links
Financial Aid Links
FAFSA – U.S. Department of Education’s fast, nearly error-proof online application for federal financial aid
FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) – Create and edit your FSA ID
Financial Aid Information – One of the most comprehensive collections of references and links to sites about financial aid
U.S. Department of Education – Explains federal student aid programs and how to apply
Minnesota Office of Higher Education – A great resource that includes a list of college costs in Minnesota, up-to-date information about higher education in Minnesota, and an interactive financial aid estimator
Internet System for Education, Employment and Knowledge – Promotes higher education, training, and career exploration and facilitates employment searches within the state of Minnesota
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Education and Training section covers programs available for veterans
Federal Direct Loans – All the information you need about the Federal Direct Loan programs
National Student Loan Data System – For information about all of your federal student loans
Minnesota SELF Loan – Online SELF loan information and counseling sponsored by Minnesota Higher Education Services Offices
Federal Student Aid – Guide to defaulted student loans sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education