Promise Plus Free Tuition Program

The Promise Plus Free Tuition Program (Promise Plus) is an expansion of the U Promise Scholarship Program to support Minnesota students in being able to afford college. It provides funds in addition to the federal, state, and University grants/scholarships needed to cover the full cost of tuition for students whose families make $50,000 per year or less.

Promise Plus Free Tuition is available to eligible new freshmen Minnesota residents enrolling full time at any University of Minnesota campus (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities). To be considered, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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What does this program cover?

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Promise Plus Free Tuition Program provides financial support to cover the cost of tuition (amounts varies by campus), for four consecutive years.

Do I need to apply for the University of Minnesota Promise Plus Free Tuition?

There is not a separate Promise Plus application. Residents of Minnesota who are admitted to any of the University of Minnesota campuses and also apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will automatically be considered for the University of Minnesota Promise Plus Free Tuition.

To be considered:

  1. Apply for admission to the University of Minnesota.
    For deadline information and online applications, visit each campus' Web site.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
    For more information about applying for financial aid or to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online go to https://fafsa.gov. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1, and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

How will I find out if I have received the Promise Plus Free Tuition?

If you are a recipient of a Promise Plus Free Tuition it will be indicated on your Estimated Financial Aid Offer. Note, the February financial aid statements will not be updated with this information. We will send a separate email with the notification until the system is updated.

Please note: Promise Plus Free Tuition is only offered to eligible Minnesota resident undergraduate students who have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What are the eligibility requirements for the Promise Plus Free Tuition?

Newly admitted University of Minnesota freshmen undergraduate students who are Minnesota residents and who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will automatically be considered for Promise Plus Free Tuition.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Apply to and be admitted as a freshman to a University of Minnesota campus, having satisfied all of the University's preparation requirements.
  • Be classified as a resident of Minnesota according to University regulations.
  • Complete the FAFSA annually. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1, and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
  • Enroll full-time, taking at least the minimum credits outlined by campus below, per semester, in a baccalaureate degree program at the University of Minnesota, as a first time degree-seeking student. (Students who have already received an undergraduate degree are not eligible for Promise Plus.)
    • Twin Cities and Rochester campuses:  Minimum 13 credits,  15+ credits are recommended to complete your degree in 4 years.
    • Crookston, Duluth, and Morris campuses: Minimum 12 credits,  15+ credits are recommended to complete your degree in 4 years.
  • Have a family income of $50,000 or lower and demonstrate financial need.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of your degree.

Please note that the Promise Plus Free Tuition applies only to fall and spring semesters. Tuition for courses taken during May or summer terms will not be covered.

Is the Promise Plus Free Tuition renewable?

New freshmen recipients are guaranteed their Promise Plus Free Tuition for four consecutive years as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria above.

About Promise Plus Free Tuition

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What is Promise Plus?

Promise Plus is part of the University of Minnesota’s unparalleled commitment to the success of our students and makes a U of M education possible for Minnesota resident students across the University's five campuses. 

How do I apply for Promise Plus?

No separate application is required to be considered for this free tuition guarantee program. The application for admission as a freshman to any of the University of Minnesota campuses (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities) and also a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are all that is needed.  If you are admitted to the University and have completed the FAFSA, you will automatically be reviewed for both the U Promise Scholarship and the Promise Plus Free Tuition program.

How is Promise Plus different from U Promise?

The Promise Plus program complements the existing U Promise Scholarship by ensuring that families making less than $50,000 will have their student’s tuition covered by federal, state and University grants/scholarships.  It provides the remaining funds needed to cover the full cost of tuition only (it does not include cost of attendance such as housing, fees, books, etc).

Who is eligible for Promise Plus?

New, incoming freshmen, who are Minnesota residents with a total family income of $50,000 or less and demonstrate financial need. Students must enroll full-time and have a completed FAFSA on file. Students admitted to any of the five campuses are eligible.

Are transfer students eligible for Promise Plus?

No. Students who are transferring to the University from an outside institution are not eligible for this program.

How long can a student participate in this program?

Incoming freshmen are eligible to receive eight (8) consecutive semesters (4 years) of free tuition as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

When does the program start?

The Promise Plus program will be offered to incoming students (new freshman) who will enroll in the fall 2021 semester.

Why isn’t Promise Plus available for current students?

The Promise Plus program funding is available for incoming students starting fall 2021. U Promise is available to support current students who meet eligibility requirements.

Can current students appeal to be eligible for Promise Plus?

No. Promise Plus is only for incoming freshmen undergraduate students starting fall 2021 semester.

Does Promise Plus apply to graduate/professional programs?

No. Promise Plus is only for incoming freshmen undergraduate students starting fall 2021 semester.

What if a student’s family income exceeds $50,000?

The University U Promise Scholarship also supports students with family income levels up to $120,000.  Additionally, the U of M offers many financial aid options and encourages students to submit the FAFSA to be considered for all of these options.

How is Promise Plus funded?

Promise Plus tuition coverage will be paid for by federal, state and University grants/scholarship, not through increased tuition rates.

Receiving Promise Plus

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Do students need to apply for Promise Plus?

No separate application is required to be considered for this free tuition guarantee program. The application for admission as a freshman to any of the University of Minnesota campuses (Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities) and also a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are all that is needed.  If you are admitted to the University and have completed the FAFSA, you will automatically be reviewed for both the U Promise Scholarship and the Promise Plus Free Tuition Program.

Is the FAFSA required?

Yes. Students must complete a FAFSA for the first year and annually thereafter to verify income and financial need.

What if a student’s total family income was initially $50,000 or less, but in a future year is expected to be higher?

Students must qualify for the Promise Plus Free Tuition program in their first year at the University. Increases in total family income in subsequent years will impact eligibility for Promise Plus. Other need-based grants, such as the U Promise program, provides financial support for families with a household income level up to $120,000.

What if a student’s total family income initially exceeded $50,000, but is expected to drop at or below $50,000 in a future aid year?

Students must qualify for the Promise Plus Free Tuition program in their first year at the University. Students who do not qualify in the first year, will not be eligible in subsequent years, however, decreases in total family income may allow students to be eligible for other programs outside of Promise Plus.

Will there be a sliding scale for students whose total family income is just above $50,000 to be considered for Promise Plus?

Through the current U Promise program structure, the University scholarship will support eligible students whose total family income is at or below $120,000.

The Financial Aid Offer

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How will a student be notified if they are receiving a Promise Plus Free Tuition offer?

Students will be notified on their official financial aid offer. Note, the February financial aid statements will not be updated with this information.  We will send a separate email with the notification until the system is updated.  

Will the Promise Plus program cover fees, surcharges and other parts of cost of attendance?

No, the Promise Plus will only cover tuition. The University has additional financial aid available to help students with other parts of the cost of attendance such as room and board, fees, books, etc.

What are other other costs in the “Cost of Attendance” if tuition is free through this program?

Costs may vary based on your actual programs and fees, but generally “Cost of Attendance” also includes fees, books, supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.

Learn more about Cost of Attendance from One Stop Student Services: