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 family
“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 or federal or state
financial aid 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 $200 million in 2004) 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 $7,500.
Other Merit-Based Scholarships: St. Olaf also awards
scholarships through programs such as the Buntrock Academic Scholarship
and the Award for Service and Leadership. For information on how
to apply for these programs, 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 $2,000
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
Recipients of Buntrock awards may be designated
a Regents Scholar or a Presidential 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 1 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 1 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
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
this service award. Applicants for this award should have a complete
St. Olaf Application for Admission and a St. Olaf Award for Service
and Leadership application on file by February 1 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 résumé detailing
their community service involvement, including types of activities
and length of service.
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 $4,050. 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 $7,861 $7,662 per year, are determined
by the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office.
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
$4,000 $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 Loans (Subsidized
and Unsubsidized) 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
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 $23,000 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% (4.7% 2.82% as of July
2005 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% (5.3% 3.42% as of July 2005 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
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
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 will be 6.1%
was 4.22 percent in 2005-06 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 10 years.
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 $2,300
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 new applications.
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
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 website of the Office of Financial
or by contacting the
Office of Financial Aid
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057-1098