Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Financial Aid Program
The financial aid program at St. Olaf College has
one primary objective: to make it possible for qualified young men
and women to obtain an education at St. Olaf. The college operates
on the premise that all students admitted to St. Olaf and in good
academic standing are worthy of financial assistance to attend St.
Olaf if financial need is demonstrated.
The responsibility for financing a St. Olaf education
rests first with the student and his or her family. All new students
who wish to apply for financial aid must complete the College Scholarship
Service (CSS) PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA). Returning students must complete the FAFSA and the
St. Olaf Application for Financial Aid. Using a standardized formula,
these documents generate, on the basis of the family's financial
situation, the amount of the student's annual educational expenses
the family is expected to meet. That amount is the "expected
"Demonstrated need" is the difference between the annual
educational expenses at St. Olaf College and the expected family
contribution. Demonstrated need is the basis on which St. Olaf financial
aid is awarded. The college will provide each student with a financial
aid package of scholarship, grants, loans, and/or student work to
meet 100 percent of the demonstrated need.
STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
Only full-time students who are degree candidates
at St. Olaf College in their first eight semesters are eligible
for financial assistance from the college. Students enrolled for
a ninth or tenth semester are not eligible for most grant programs
and will have larger loan components in a fifth year of enrollment.
Financial aid is credited directly to the student's
comprehensive fee account. Financial aid is credited on an equal
basis for the Fall Semester and the Spring Semester.
Students on academic probation may not be eligible to receive scholarship
assistance from St. Olaf during the probationary period.
Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress
(SAP) for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
For more information on SAP policies at St. Olaf, contact the Office
of Financial Aid.
THE ENDOWMENT ADVANTAGE
The endowment at St. Olaf (which had a market value
of over $150 million in 2001) consists of funds contributed to St.
Olaf by alumni, parents, faculty, staff, corporations, foundations,
and other friends of the college. The income from those contributions
is applied to among other programs grants, scholarships,
and faculty research and travel.
Thanks to the endowment and other annual financial
support, every student attending St. Olaf whether receiving
financial aid or not benefits from an indirect form of financial
assistance. Endowment earnings and annual gifts help support the
operating budget of the college and allow St. Olaf to keep tuition
charges at roughly 75 percent of the actual cost.
St. Olaf scholarships are available to incoming first-year
students, transfers, and returning students. Eligibility for a St.
Olaf scholarship is based on demonstrated need, other financial
aid, scholastic standing, activity record, test scores, recommendations,
and full-time enrollment.
National Merit Scholarships: Applicants who
have designated St. Olaf College as their first-choice college with
the National Merit Scholarship Corporation are eligible for the
St. Olaf National Merit Scholarship award. St. Olaf sponsors up
to 40 Merit Scholarships each year for incoming students. The minimum
annual award is $5,000.
Other Merit-Based Scholarships:
St. Olaf also awards scholarships through programs such as the
Buntrock academic scholarship,
Lutheran leadership, and community service programs and
the Award for Service and Leadership. For information on
how to apply for the programs detailed on the next page, please
contact the Office of Admission at (507) 646-3025 or (800) 800-3025,
or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buntrock Academic Scholarships
range from $2,500 $2,000
to $9,000 per year. The awards are renewable for each of the recipient's
four years at St. Olaf.
Many schools that offer merit and talent scholarships
prescribe strict criteria with respect to a high school G.P.A.,
test scores, class rank, etc. We have found that such prescriptions
often discourage very successful students from competing. As such,
we are inclined to respect the differences among high schools and
not list a set of minimum criteria for scholarship candidates.
Eligibility for Buntrock awards is based primarily on academic performance
in high school, and the selection is highly competitive. Past recipients
have generally presented a high school G.P.A. of 3.6 or higher and
are often in the top five percent of their high school graduating
class. Evidence of participation in extracurricular activities in
addition to academic performance is valued.
Recipients of Buntrock awards may be designated a
Regents Scholar, a Presidential Scholar or a Dean's Scholar. Up
to 70 students will be selected as finalists for the Regents award
our top academic scholarship and are invited to campus
for a series of programs and faculty interviews in March.
Candidates who are not selected to interview on campus
will automatically be considered for a presidential or deans' award
and will be notified of the committee's decision in mid-March.
In addition to completing a St. Olaf application for
admission, candidates must complete and return the Buntrock academic
scholarship application no later than February 15 of the senior
year. Candidates who wish to be considered for the Buntrock Regent
scholarship must apply under Early Action, completing their application
no later than December 15 of the senior year. Only those candidates
who also wish to be considered for need-based financial aid programs
must file the CSS PROFILE form.
The St. Olaf Community
Service Awards The St. Olaf Awards
for Service and Leadership recognize the talents and abilities
of those students who have given significant time and effort for
the benefit of others. Students who have been involved in community
service activities, either on a personal level or as part of a larger
group, are encouraged to apply for the St. Olaf community service
award. Applicants for this award should have a complete St. Olaf
Application for Admission and a St. Olaf Community Service Award
application on file by February 15 of the senior year. We ask that
you provide us with a recommendation from an individual who has
supervised your activities in this area. In addition, applicants
are encouraged to submit a rsum detailing their community
service involvement, including types of activities and length of
All recipients of this award are expected to participate
for a minimum of five hours per week in community service activities
and/or organizations either on the St. Olaf campus, in Northfield,
or in a nearby community. For students entering in Fall 2002, the
annual stipend is $3,000 and is renewable.
Lutheran Leadership: Applicants who have been
active and involved, on an individual or group level, in the life
of the Lutheran church are invited to apply for the St. Olaf Lutheran
Leadership Award. Applicants should have a complete St. Olaf application
for admission and a St. Olaf Lutheran Leadership Award application
on file by February 15 of the senior year. We ask that your pastor
and one other member of your congregation comment on your goals
and ideals in a letter of recommendation supporting your candidacy
for this award. In addition, applicants are encouraged to submit
a rsum detailing their activities and involvement with
their church, including types of activities and length of service.
It is expected that recipients of this award will
choose to continue their leadership role by becoming involved in
campus ministry or by working within a program affiliated with a
Lutheran congregation in Northfield. For students entering in Fall
2002, this award is $3,000 per year and is renewable.
The STEP Program: The St. Olaf education partnership
(STEP) provides up to $1,000 per year per student as a match to
scholarships given by Lutheran congregations to their members attending
The Federal Pell Grant
is a federally-based program with awards ranging from $400 to
$4,000 $4,000. The amount
of the award is determined by the federal government.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
(FSEOG): FSEOG is a federally-funded program for students with
financial need. The amount of the award up to $4,000 per
year is determined by the Office of Financial Aid.
Minnesota State Grant is a program limited
to students who are graduates of a Minnesota high school or whose
parents currently reside in Minnesota. Awards, ranging to $7,770
per year, are determined by the Minnesota Higher Education Services
For state grant purposes, full-time is defined as
at least 3.75 courses per semester or 2.75 courses each semester
and an Interim course. Students who are enrolled in fewer hours
during the school year will experience significant reductions in
State Grant amounts.
Federal Perkins Loan Program: Long-term loans
for students who demonstrate financial need are available through
the federal Perkins loan program. The amounts vary, but cannot exceed
$3,500 per year.
No interest is charged nor is repayment required while
the borrower is enrolled as at least a half-time student. Simple
interest of five percent and repayment begin nine months after the
borrower ceases to be enrolled or is enrolled less than half-time.
Repayment must be completed within 10 years.
Federal Stafford Loan: Many families qualify
for a subsidized federal Stafford loan, which can provide up to
$2,625 per year for first-year students, $3,500 for second-year
students and up to $5,500 for third- and fourth-year students.
Eligibility is based on demonstrated need. Factors
such as the number of persons in the family and the number of children
in college affect eligibility.
Federal Stafford Loans
(Subsidized) and (Unsubsidized) can be secured from banks
and savings and loan associations. Applications may be obtained
from private lenders or from the St. Olaf financial aid office.
A student may borrow up to $22,625 in Stafford loans as an undergraduate.
Stafford loans are subject to a three percent origination fee and
a one percent guarantee fee, although many lenders will pay the
guarantee fee for the student borrowers.
For a subsidized Stafford loan, the federal government
pays the interest during the in-school period. For an unsubsidized
Stafford loan, the interest during the in-school period is at a
rate equal to the 91-day T-bill rate plus 1.7% (2.82%
as of July 2003), with a maximum of 8.25%.
During re-payment, the interest rate for both subsidized
and unsubsidized Stafford loans is at a rate equal to the 91-day
T-bill rate plus 2.3% (3.42% as of July
2003), again with a maximum of 8.25%. Repayment begins six
months after a student ceases to be at least a half-time student
and repayment is normally completed according to a 10-year amortization
schedule. For those students who borrow about $4,000 or less, the
minimum monthly payments of $50 will be required, but will result
in a repayment period shorter than 10 years.
Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF): Student
educational loans are available to St. Olaf students irrespective
of need. The maximum SELF loan is $4,500 per year for first- and
second-year students and $6,000 for third- and fourth-year students.
These loans, made available by the Minnesota Higher Education Services
Office (MHESO), carry a variable interest rate (generally 6-8 percent).
Interest is charged and paid quarterly during "in-school"
periods. Monthly "interest-only" payments are expected
in the first year following the completion of a student's schooling.
Monthly payments toward interest and principal begin on the first
anniversary of the completion of school.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate
Students (PLUS): Parent loan for undergraduate students
(PLUS) is a program open to the parents of all St. Olaf students.
PLUS funds can be secured from banks and from savings and loan associations.
Applications are available from participating lenders. The PLUS
program is guaranteed by the federal government and is insured against
the death of the borrower.
Parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus
financial aid received. The interest rate on PLUS is the lower of
nine percent or refinanced variable interest rate of T-bill plus
3.1 percent. (The rate is 4.22 % in 2003–04.)
PLUS loans are subject to a four percent origination fee and guarantee
fee. Repayment on PLUS loans begins within
60 days after receipt of loan proceeds and can be extended over
More than one-half of the students at St. Olaf work
on campus part-time.
Need-based, part-time work on campus traditionally
has offered students the opportunity to help defray their college
expenses and gain useful work experience. Recognizing that many
people value the chance to contribute to their education, the college
attempts to make student work opportunities available to every St.
Olaf student who wishes to work. Priority will continue to be given,
however, to those students who demonstrate financial need and receive
student work as a component of their financial aid award.
Students are paid a wage of $7.15 per hour or more,
depending on the job. The maximum yearly contract of about $2,000
for no more than 10 hours of work per week is not a guarantee a
student will earn a specified amount through campus employment.
Rather, it is a maximum amount a student has the potential to earn.
Student work on campus usually includes assignments in the cafeteria,
the library, residence halls and academic, athletic or administrative
Specific work assignments are made by the student work coordinator
in the Office of Financial Aid. New students are notified of their
assignments when they arrive on campus.
RENEWAL OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis and may
be renewed to eligible students upon application. The St. Olaf application
must be submitted by April 15 each
year. The FAFSA must be completed and forwarded to the processing
center by April 15 each year. The
amount of the renewal award will be based on demonstrated financial
need. Renewal applications are considered in the same manner as
Students may obtain information and applications from the Office
of Financial Aid.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Students falling below minimum academic standards
set by St. Olaf College or a student placed on academic probation
status for more than two semesters will not be eligible to receive
federal financial aid unless documented and
extenuating reasons for poor performance can be provided.
For more information and a detailed statement of policy,
contact the St. Olaf Office of Financial Aid.
SOURCES OF AID FOR STUDENTS
WITHOUT DEMONSTRATED NEED
Families of students who do not qualify for financial
aid on the basis of FAFSA applications might qualify for three alternate
sources of assistance, detailed previously under Loans:
Student Education Loan Fund (SELF)
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
FOR MORE INFORMATION
More detailed information on all arrangements
for financial aid can be obtained in the financial aid booklet distributed
by the Office of Admissions, at the web site of the Office of Financial
or by contacting the Office of Financial Aid, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue,
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057-1098, (507) 646-3019.