Blog College Preparation, Financial Aid, Students

Why Financial Aid Makes Private College Affordable

By Elena Nowlin on Monday, July 17, 2023

One of the frequently searched phrases in higher education is “free college”. Students are looking for opportunities to further their education while limiting their debt. In the state of Minnesota, lawmakers have passed a new bill with the promise of a no-cost education.

The North Star Promise Scholarship Program says it “will create a tuition and fee-free pathway to higher education for eligible Minnesota residents at eligible institutions as a ‘last-dollar’ program.” They will offer a chance at free college, “by covering the balance of tuition and fees after other scholarships, grants, stipends, and tuition waivers have been applied,” (Minnesota Office of Higher Education). This program will cover the remaining tuition for public higher ed for students with a households with a combined income of $80,000 or less.

While some students will consider this opportunity, they should understand the costs they will still be responsible for and evaluate that against what a private institution can offer.

University of Northwestern – St. Paul sets students up for success by walking alongside students and their families in the Financial Aid process, ensuring that they will have an affordable plan that fits with their budget. Financial Aid works with each student to make sure that they have the best payment plan for their unique needs. Traditional undergraduate students will receive an academic scholarship upon admission to UNW. Additionally, students can also take part in a variety of activities or programs on campus that offer other scholarship opportunities. Students may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for need- based grants, and federal loans.

Financial Aid promises to invest in your future. Northwestern looks at a student’s education as more than a checked box on their way to their full-time career. Getting an education is an investment, and we commit to helping each student find an affordable path forward.

Northwestern continues to commit to help students earn free college credits in high school. Dual Enrollment (DE) or Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) are programs for juniors and seniors in high school. For a significant discount, students get a head start on their degree with both of these options.

While cost is an important consideration, college is about more than a price tag. Northwestern offers small class sizes with a 15:1 student to professor ratio. This ensures that professors have the bandwidth to know and care for their students in a personal way. It’s a faith community, where students are intentionally cared for.

College is a huge steppingstone in a student’s journey, both academically and spiritually. Attending a college that will encourage a student in their faith instead of challenging their beliefs, offers a safe place for them to grow. Professors don’t coddle students–they ask hard questions and challenge them to think for themselves. Northwestern’s values give students the opportunity to explore their beliefs for themselves.

While “free college” sounds like a shiny promise, the experience a student has matters as much as their tuition. Northwestern advocates for students no matter their financial status. It is an environment that will help them grow in their faith surrounded by a community of likeminded believers.

We look forward to coming alongside you as you consider your college options. Submit your application today!

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