Frequently Asked Questions

About Minerva

How can Minerva offer admission to all students who qualify?

Our distinctive structure enables us to deliver the highest quality education possible to any student who meets our rigorous standards. Classes are taught via live, video-based seminars, so we do not have to build and maintain nonessential infrastructure. Students and faculty can attend class from anywhere in the world.

How can Minerva offer such low tuition?

Minerva is able to uphold our commitment to affordable education because we only invest in the things needed to provide the best education possible; we don’t invest in expensive real estate, outdated infrastructure, collegiate sports, or unnecessary amenities that don’t directly support your educational experience. This is also why we do not offer faculty tenure; our expert faculty are here because they want to teach.

How is Minerva different from other undergraduate programs?

The key differences that distinguish Minerva include:

  • Rigorous curriculum based on the science of learning

  • Accomplished faculty focused on student instruction

  • Four years of global cultural immersion

  • Small seminars with fewer than 20 students

  • Advanced interactive learning environment

  • Lifelong career support services

  • Merit-based and need-blind admissions process

  • Accessible and affordable with tuition $12,950/year

What are the Minerva Schools at KGI?

Minerva offers an unprecedented undergraduate program that combines an interdisciplinary curriculum and rigorous academic standards, an accomplished faculty versed in the science of learning, an advanced interactive learning platform that leverages cutting-edge technology, and four years of immersive global experience. The Minerva Schools at KGI were established in 2013 in partnership with the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) — a Western Senior College and University Commission-accredited institution, in partnership with Minerva Project. Learn more about our alliance with KGI.

What is included in the lifelong career services?

Minerva’s Professional Development Agency acts as a personal talent agency. In addition to unlimited consultation sessions, the team of experts provides networking, publicity, and entrepreneurial support. These coordinated services help raise the visibility of your achievements and propel your career forward.

What makes the interactive learning environment better than a traditional classroom?

Minerva’s Active Learning Forum platform uses the latest advances in information technology to provide an engaging class experience that is unmatched. Live, video-based seminars enhance student-to-professor and peer-to-peer interactions by ensuring that everyone is visibly engaged and actively participating. 

The Active Learning Forum also facilitates numerous rapid mode changes, including moving from full group discussion to smaller breakout groups, one-on-one and team debates, collaborative document sharing and editing, as well as dynamic polling and real-time simulations. The platform’s asynchronous tools provide powerful capabilities for students and professors alike, by enabling deeper and more frequent data-rich feedback, schedule and assignment management, and searchable review of prior class footage.

What makes the Minerva curriculum distinctive?

The curriculum was intentionally structured to teach both breadth and depth demanded by the constantly evolving world, emphasizing on four core skills — thinking critically, thinking creatively, communicating effectively, and interacting effectively. By exposing students to interdisciplinary subject matters and continuously reinforcing key habits of mind and foundational concepts, Minerva teaches a broad and adaptable set of skills and knowledge, applicable to any field. Depth of learning occurs in the major and concentration courses, and  the self-directed Capstone project, where students focus on a specific area of expertise starting in their third year and continuing through their final year.

Which global cities are included in the four-year undergraduate program?

Minerva’s residence halls are located in seven major cosmopolitan cities around the world. Students spend their first full year in San Francisco, California in the United States, and subsequent years in up to six other cities: Seoul, Hyderabad, Berlin, Buenos Aires, London, and Taipei.

Why are all classes small seminars?

Minerva classes focus on building skills and understanding — not mere information dissemination. Cognitive and behavioral research documents that students learn most effectively when actively engaged with the subject matter — a learning approach not that large lectures or other passive forms of teaching do not facilitate. 

Minerva’s small class size, fewer than 20 students — coupled with the advanced Active Learning Forum technology, enables professors to provide expert instruction, direct personal interaction, and frequent feedback, simultaneously ensuring that every student is an active class participant.

Preparing to Apply

Can students apply for mid-year enrollment?

No. New student enrollment is strictly reserved for the beginning of the academic year in September, due to the scaffolded nature of Minerva’s curriculum.

Does Minerva accept home-schooled students? Are there any special guidelines for those applicants?

Yes. Minerva accepts home-schooled students. All students must have completed the requirements to earn a high school diploma (or the international equivalent). Please email admissions@minerva.kgi.edu with any questions about providing the academic documents required.

Does Minerva accept standardized test scores?

Minerva does not request or require standardized test scores such as the ACT or SAT. Standardized tests do not reflect an unbiased, comprehensive view of your potential. Instead, our admissions process will present a thoughtful series of challenges that are a validated measure of how you think across various dimensions.

Does Minerva accept transfer students?

Yes. Minerva does accept transfer students, but due to the scaffolded nature of our curriculum, all accepted applicants must enroll as first-year students. Students who transfer to Minerva may transfer up to eight units of credit at the discretion of the relevant college dean. Approved transfer credits can only replace elective courses; students must complete all required courses for their majors.

Does Minerva offer a Master's Program and, if so, how can I apply?

Yes. Minerva offers two Master’s programs. The first is a Master’s in Applied Arts and Sciences offered exclusively for Minerva undergraduates; this program can be completed concurrently with the undergraduate degree or as a sequence of courses that takes an additional semester or year after graduation. Interested students apply to this program after they enroll as undergraduate students. The second is the Master of Science in Applied Analyses and Decision Making, and is open only to non-Minerva graduates. Entry into this program is solely based on nomination and invitation. Anyone interested in the program can express this by contacting masters@minerva.kgi.edu.

Does Minerva require students to be fluent in English?

Yes. All classes at Minerva are conducted in English, so students must be fluent in written and spoken English to be successful. We measure an applicant's English fluency during the admission process. TOEFL, IELTS, or other standardized English fluency tests are not required for admissions.

Is it possible to be a part-time student at Minerva?

No. Minerva does not offer a part-time program for a variety of reasons. For example, international students studying in the U.S. must maintain full-time status to be in compliance with visa regulations.

Is there an application fee?

No. Minerva’s goal is to admit students based on merit alone. Application fees may exclude students who have financial needs but who otherwise qualify to attend.

What is the Binding Enrollment option?

By choosing to make your decision binding, you will receive an expedited admissions notification within four weeks of completing the admissions materials. This option is available during every cycle. Choosing the Binding Enrollment option formally designates that Minerva is your top choice and that, if admitted, you are also prepared to pay your enrollment deposit within 10 days of receiving your admissions notification, and agree to withdraw any applications to other institutions. Learn more about Binding Enrollment here.

When is the application deadline?

Minerva offers multiple admission cycles for students who would like to matriculate in Fall 2018. Students can only apply in one admissions cycle per academic year, so if you are denied admission in one cycle, you cannot apply again in the next one.

Early Action:

Applications are accepted through November 1, 2017. Students will be notified by December 15, 2017, and admitted students have until May 1, 2018 to commit to Minerva and submit their deposit.


Regular Decision I: 

Applications are accepted through January 15, 2018 Students will be notified by March 30, 2018. Those admitted during the Regular Decision application cycle will have until May 1, 2018 to commit to Minerva and submit their deposit.


Regular Decision II: 

Applications are accepted through March 15, 2018. Students will be notified by April 26, 2018. Those admitted during the Regular Decision II application cycle will have until May 1, 2018 to commit to Minerva and submit their deposit.

Who can apply to Minerva?

Minerva offers a four-year undergraduate Liberal Arts & Sciences program. We accept applications from all students who have completed high school (or the international equivalent) and have or are expecting to receive a high school diploma before beginning their studies at Minerva in the fall semester.


We also offer a Master of Science in Applied Analyses and Decision Making, a first-of-its-kind program designed specifically to prepare twenty-first-century leaders to make consequential decisions. This program is designed for bright, highly-motivated post-Bachelor’s students looking to accelerate their careers with a unique set of cognitive tools that can be applied to diverse professional environments.

Applying

Can I apply through the Common Application?

Yes. Undergraduate applicants may apply to Minerva through the Common Application, but are still required to complete Part Two and Part Three of the admissions process. Within 48 hours of completing the Common Application, you will receive an email inviting you to a customized Admission Center where you will have access to all other sections of the admissions process, including a set of challenges, transcripts, and accomplishments.

Can I change the information in my application after I have clicked ‘Submit’?

You are encouraged to thoroughly review your details before you submit it. If information you have submitted changes (for example, your address), please send an email to admissions@minerva.kgi.edu with the following in the subject line: “Application Updates for [Your Full Name].” Note: it is important you send this email using the same email address you used to submit your application. In the body of the email, you should describe the changes you would like to make and explain why you are making them.

Can I save the application and finish it later?

Yes. The application includes the ability to save and resume. You can log in to resume your saved application at https://www.minerva.kgi.edu/application/login.

How do I know that Minerva received my application?

Applicants receive an email confirmation within 24 hours of submitting an application. If you did not receive this confirmation in your inbox and have checked your spam folder, email admissions@minerva.kgi.edu. To help us quickly identify your application, please send this email using the email address you used in the application.

How important is it for me to provide an email address in my application?

To apply to Minerva, we require applicants to provide an email address. We will regularly send information regarding updates on Minerva, information on your admissions status and follow-up steps, and region-specific event notifications using the email address you provide in the admissions application. We recommend that you provide an email address that is both functional and personal. If you do not have one, we recommend you create an account. Two free and popular email clients are Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

How much time will I need to complete the online application?

You will need approximately 30–40 minutes to complete Part One. After you complete this step, you will be invited to a customized Admission Center where you will have access to all other sections of the admissions process, including a set of challenges, transcripts, and accomplishments.

I applied to Minerva before. May I apply again?

You may only apply once per academic year. If you decide to reapply, you will still be required to complete the full admissions process. If you were previously admitted to Minerva and declined our offer, you must apply as a Binding Enrollment applicant to be considered, as well as provide an explanation for why you are reapplying and why you are committed to enrolling, if admitted.

What does it mean if I select the Binding Enrollment option?

The Binding Enrollment option enables an expedited notification within four weeks of completing the admissions process — significantly earlier than other Minerva applicants — in exchange for your commitment to paying the enrollment deposit and attending Minerva if admitted. After selecting which admissions cycle is right for you, you have the option to select Binding Enrollment if Minerva is your first, or only choice. Learn more about this option on our Binding Enrollment page.

What should I do if I have technical issues while completing the Challenges?

If you experience technical issues at any point during the admissions process, please email admissions@minerva.kgi.edu with a detailed description of the problem and attach screenshots.

Why do you need my high school counselor or school official’s contact information?

Like other universities, we will review your school transcript as part of our evaluation process. Depending on the education system in your country, this might be a document verifying your final grades from high school, or your final examination or national test results. Although we request an unofficial transcript from you early on, we also require a counselor or other school official to verify the validity of these documents.

Admissions

Are there any limits or restrictions for applicants, such as age or country of origin?

Minerva does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, physical disability, learning disability, political affiliation, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Can students admitted to Minerva defer enrollment?

When applying to Minerva, you should indicate the year that you expect to matriculate in your online admissions application. If you are admitted, you can petition to defer enrollment once you receive notification that you have been admitted. To petition for deferral you will be required to explain your plans during the gap year and attach proof that you will not be attending another accredited university.

Can you describe Minerva's admissions process?

Our admissions process is designed to discover who you are and what you are passionate about, as well as whether you are the type of student who will succeed at Minerva. In Part One, you complete the application by telling us about yourself, including your academic performance, and examples of your accomplishments. In Part Two, you will be presented with a series of engaging challenges designed to assess how you think. Then, in Part Three, you will provide evidence of your past academic performance, as well as a set of accomplishments that indicate areas of excellence and interest beyond your grades.

How many students do you accept from each region?

There are no quotas or region-based limitations for admissions. The best students from all over the world make up our student body. Our current student body represents every geography around the globe including, but not limited to, North America, China, India, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa.

What admissions criteria does Minerva use to select its students?

Minerva is looking for the brightest and most motivated students from around the world. We screen for strong intellectual and leadership background, analytical capabilities, creativity, and strength of character. Minerva does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, physical disability, learning disability, political affiliation, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

What if I require special accommodations for completing the application?

If you have a disability that may affect your ability to complete the application, please email disabilityservices@minerva.kgi.edu before completing any timed portions of the admissions process. To read more about accommodations at Minerva, please read our Provision of Services.

Who can I contact if I have more admissions-related questions?

You can contact our Admissions team at admissions@minerva.kgi.edu, or use the chat feature on our website. To speak with our team in the chat, click the speech bubble in the lower right corner of each page and send us your questions.

Will my financial status impact my chances of being admitted?

No. Minerva follows a need-blind admissions policy, so your financial aid application is reviewed in an entirely independent process. This means that applying for financial aid will not impact your admissions decision in any way. Learn more about this process on our Financial Aid page.

Academics

Can I do a double major or a double concentration?

Yes. You may choose either to double major or do a double concentration. Explore our majors and courses here.

Can you tell me more about the faculty at Minerva?

All of Minerva’s faculty are experts in their fields and are trained in the science of learning. The current faculty consists of the Founding Dean; the deans of each of the five colleges; four Associate Deans, 45 professors, a Director of Curriculum Development; and a Director of First Year Curriculum, both of whom also teach courses. As our student body grows, we will continue to recruit world-class faculty.

How will employers and graduate schools view a degree from Minerva?

Upon graduation, Minerva awards a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from KGI, a WSCUC (WASC Western Senior College and University Commission) accredited institution, and one of the prestigious Claremont Colleges. More importantly, Minerva prepares you for employment as well as graduate programs by ensuring that you graduate knowing how to think critically, think creatively, communicate effectively, and interact effectively. Recent research by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (conducted in 2013 and 2015) confirmed that employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success. Nearly all employers surveyed (93%) agree, “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”

How will you support students interested in the arts (both visual and musical), if at all? Can I major or minor in these areas?

Minerva does not offer “minors” in any disciplines. There are a variety of opportunities for students to engage in performing and visual arts. In each city students can join performance groups, engage in projects with civic partners affiliated with arts and humanities (for e.g., students in San Francisco have engaged with San Francisco Opera and Burning Man) and study visual arts alongside local artists. We also have partnerships with local performing arts centers so that our students can engage and learn from community members.

I am currently attending another institution. Will my credits transfer to Minerva?

You will be able to transfer up to eight units of credit at the discretion of the dean of the relevant college. However, due to the scaffolded nature of Minerva’s curriculum, in which each year builds upon the previous year, you will still need to satisfy all of Minerva’s course requirements. The relevant college dean will determine how to map transfer credits onto the curriculum.

I am currently taking AP exams or college-level courses while in high school. Can I place out of entry-level courses?

Minerva does not offer any entry level courses. The first-year Cornerstone courses do not cover the basic concepts that are covered in AP and college entry-level courses. Rather, you are expected to enter Minerva with the type of knowledge that comes from AP courses. Cornerstone courses draw on the content covered in these types of classes as well as build upon them.

Is Minerva accredited?

Yes. Minerva is part of the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), an institution regionally accredited by the Western Senior College and University Commission Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC or WSCUC). Students graduate from the Minerva Schools at KGI and receive a KGI diploma with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) that is recognized globally. Learn more here.

What is the academic calendar? When are our breaks?

Minerva has two 15-week semesters with an extended summer break and a long winter break. Students also have short autumn and spring breaks.

Will my credits transfer if I decide to leave Minerva?

Minerva, like all institutions of higher education, does not determine the acceptance of transfer credits by other institutions. Our courses are accredited, and thus we expect that they will be treated like courses from other accredited institutions — but the decision is up to the transfer institution.

Curriculum

A lot of schools talk about teaching critical thinking. Can you talk specifically about how you teach students to think?

Minerva teaches students the habits of mind (cognitive skills that become automatic) and foundational concepts (knowledge that can be built upon) that underlie four core capacities required of leaders and innovators: the abilities to think critically, think creatively, communicate effectively, and interact effectively. We teach you these skills systematically and intentionally, instead of hoping that they will be learned through content dissemination (which is common at most other universities).

Becoming a global leader is abstract. What does that actually look like?

Becoming a global leader is both about being academically prepared to tackle difficult problems and culturally and socially prepared to operate in a global context. Our academic curriculum teaches you how to work with others, how to lead, how to persuade, and how to negotiate effectively. The Capstone project provides a unique opportunity to actually address an issue or a problem. From a social perspective, during your time at Minerva you will be culturally immersed in some of the world’s most important global hubs, including San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Seoul. You will be better prepared to understand the interconnected nature of the world because you’ve experienced multiple parts of it.

Does Minerva offer a Master’s degree program?

Yes. Minerva currently offers two Master’s programs. The first leads to a Master’s degree in Applied Arts & Sciences. This program builds on the practical knowledge acquired in our rigorous liberal arts courses, and deepens the learning and experience through an advanced curriculum, an intense focus on research, and a commitment to teaching students how to work with others to solve important real-world problems. This advanced degree program is available to current Minerva undergraduates and can be completed concurrently with the undergraduate program, or by adding up to an additional 12 months to the program. Learn more here.


Minerva also offers a Master's degree in Applied Analyses and Decision Making. This invitation-only program is designed to help highly motivated post-bachelor-degree students acquire competencies that allow them to analyze complex real-world problems from multiple perspectives, to present options for addressing these problems, to exercise sound judgment in choosing among the options, and to establish criteria for monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of the decisions that are implemented. Students who complete the program will be able to analyze and use data effectively in a variety of fields, compare options available in any given decision-making scenario, and establish metrics and systems to evaluate and make intelligent decisions. Learn more here.

Does Minerva teach foreign languages? If so, what languages are offered?

Minerva does not offer foreign language courses or majors. However, as you live in different countries you have the opportunity to enroll in local language classes and to practice the language and experience the culture first hand. In addition, our international student body naturally lends itself to language clubs and ample informal opportunities to practice a language.

How will lab work be conducted without a permanent campus? How can I fulfill pre-med requirements without access to a laboratory?

You and your classmates can fulfill your pre-med requirements in large part through Minerva coursework; you will not only learn key facts and concepts, but also the seminar courses are designed for you to experience and participate in the designing, executing, and interpreting of scientific experiments. In addition, Minerva helps students find summer internships, where they do actual, cutting-edge research (not simply "follow the recipe" type exercises that typically are assigned in laboratory courses). The combination of summer internships and rigorous, analytical science course prepare students well to compete for admission to graduate school as well. At Minerva you will acquire the analytical abilities and core knowledge that medical and graduate schools highly value.   

I can’t find the major I’m most interested in studying on your list of concentrations. Can I create my own major?

The current list of majors and concentrations is available on Minerva’s website. Individualized majors are not possible. However, the existing majors are highly interdisciplinary and are appropriate for a wide variety of career paths. Moreover, the Capstone project and unique tutorials allow students to focus precisely on their own topics of interest. Take a look at the course explorer, which includes a list (not comprehensive) of specific career options for each concentration. If you have specific career aspirations and want to understand whether our courses will support those aspirations, please contact us at admissions@minerva.kgi.edu.

What do you see Minerva graduates doing in 10 years? Is this a pre-entrepreneurship program or is it intended for anyone?

We expect Minerva students to be leaders and innovators pushing boundaries globally in a wide variety of fields, from entrepreneurship to business to social justice to medical research. A Minerva education will prepare you to thrive in any academic discipline or professional field because it provides you the skills needed to adapt as the world changes.

Seminar Experience

Do all classes take place online?

All academic classes take place online via the Active Learning Forum. All of Minerva’s classes are seminars of 20 students or fewer, conducted in real-time via the platform. All seminars are face-to-face — the equivalent of giving each student a front row seat. Watch a video featuring the Active Learning Forum.

How will office hours work? Will any of our professors be available in person?

Professors will hold regular office hours on Minerva’s Active Learning Forum. You can also contact them for individual appointments.

If I want to take a class not offered at Minerva, can I cross-register at a local university?

You may be able to take classes at a local university, but it is up to the discretion of the dean of your college whether the credits earned at any other institution will be formally accepted at Minerva. However, keep in mind that only a maximum of eight credits can be transferred from another institution to Minerva.

What is the Active Learning Forum?

The Active Learning Forum is Minerva’s proprietary technology platform, an advanced learning environment designed to facilitate real-time, continuous face-to-face interaction with your professors and classmates. Watch a video featuring the Active Learning Forum.

Will I have an academic advisor?

Yes. All students will be paired with a member of the faculty who will be your academic advisor.

Will I really be able to learn effectively on the Active Learning Forum?

Minerva’s Active Learning Forum has been custom built to incorporate the science of learning and to ensure successful student learning outcomes. By teaching in this format, we ensure that each class will be small, highly interactive, and student-oriented. Classes are taught by fully qualified faculty members and are designed to be highly engaging and thought-provoking. In addition, the Active Learning Forum also allows us to collect data on your performance during each session, which provides rapid feedback — helping you to learn more effectively.

Will students be sitting together around a table and watching a video of the professor or will students be in their dorm rooms? What is the physical location of the classes?

There is no required physical location for attending a class as long as it is an environment with high-speed internet where you are able to follow classes attentively. You can therefore be in your dorm room, in the student lounge, at a local cafe, or local library while attending classes in real-time. Students often take classes physically together, but this is not a requirement.

Financial Considerations

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

All international and U.S.-based students are eligible to apply, and applicants who are admitted and who qualify for aid will receive a financial aid package commensurate with their demonstrated financial need. Learn more about financing and aid at Minerva here.

Are technology costs, including a computer, included in the fees?

Technology support costs are included in the additional fees. However, you are required to supply a laptop and headset that meet the requirements for use of the Active Learning Forum. Though not mandatory, we also recommend purchasing a graphic drawing tablet. Minerva offers student discounts on laptops, as well as most books and supplies, through the Claremont Consortium bookstore.

Does Minerva cover the cost of flights to and from different residence hall locations or to and from a student's home country?

Minerva does not cover the costs of flights between residence hall locations or to and from your home country. Like most other universities, these costs, along with books, student services and insurance, are additional. For more information on estimated costs, please visit the Tuition & Fees page.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

The Early Action financial aid deadline is November 15, 2017.

The Regular Decision I financial aid deadline is February 15, 2018.

The Regular Decision II financial aid deadline is April 1, 2018.

The financial aid deadline for returning students is February 15, 2018.


For all cycles, including Binding Enrollment applicants, complete the CSS Profile and upload your supporting documents to the Financial Aid Center by the listed deadline that corresponds with the admission cycle in which you applied.

What are housing and other costs that students will be expected to pay in the first year?

In addition to tuition, students are required to pay for room, board, insurance, books, and miscellaneous expenses such as food, transportation, books, and supplies, which will amount to approximately $16,950 per year. In addition, all students must submit a $1,000 security deposit which is fully refundable upon graduation given that no damage is done to Minerva residential property.

What is Minerva’s tuition?

Tuition is $12,950 for the 2018–2019 school year for freshmen matriculating in fall 2018.

Why do I need to pay a deposit?

The enrollment deposit guarantees your place at Minerva and will be a credited payment toward tuition on your fall term bill. There is also a one-time, $1,000 security deposit that is fully refunded after completing your final year at Minerva if you do not damage Minerva residential property.

Applying for Financial Assistance

Before I apply, can I get a sense of how much financial aid I will be granted?

Yes. The Net Price calculator is an educational cost planning tool designed by the U.S. federal government to provide prospective students with an estimate of their eligibility for need-based assistance and an approximation of your expected contribution. The estimate provided using this calculator does not represent a final determination, or actual award of financial assistance. Minerva’s Financial Aid Office has the final authority to determine the family contribution and any financial aid award. This tool provides a rough estimate and is not intended to replace the nuances of the financial aid application.

Can I apply for a fee waiver for submitting my financial aid application?

To apply for financial aid, U.S.-based and international applicants must complete a CSS profile. Fee waivers are only given to applicants with extenuating circumstances. To request a fee waiver, please send an email to financialaid@minerva.kgi.edu and provide information about your (1) Family Income, (2) Family Assets, and (3) attach documentation of extenuating circumstances. Please make sure to indicate in the form what currency you are using.

Can I complete the CSS profile as an independent?

Nearly all students must complete the CSS profile as a dependent. A parent who refuses or is unable to provide support for his or her child’s education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent. While Minerva reserves the right to decide a student’s filing status, the general guideline is: a student is considered independent for financial aid consideration if he or she is or has at least one of the following: is at least 26 years old as of January 1 of his or her first academic year, is married, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18). If not, the student is considered dependent.

Can I wait until after I receive my admissions decision from Minerva to apply for financial aid?

No. Applicants must apply for financial aid by the stated deadline for their cycle in order to guarantee a financial aid decision on, or shortly after their admission notification date. Late applications will incur a $20 processing charge and are not guaranteed aid access to our scholarship fund. Please make sure to complete your CSS profile online and upload your supporting documents in the Financial Aid Center by the deadline that corresponds with your application cycle.


Early Action applicants should note that the CSS Profile does not open until October 1, 2017. Please begin working on other financial aid requirements and return to this step later.

Do I have to provide information for my non-custodial parent?

Yes. Even if your non-custodial parent is not offering to contribute to funding your education, Minerva requires him/her to fill out the non-custodial parent form. If you no longer have contact with your non-custodial parent you can complete the NCP waiver form and submit it to financialaid@minerva.kgi.edu by the deadline to request Minerva waive this requirement.

Do I need to complete the FAFSA?

No. Minerva determines each family’s level of need using the information provided in your CSS profile and supporting documents. Minerva does not use the FAFSA or accept federal funding.

Do I need to supply my parents’ financial information if I am a self-supporting student?

Yes. When awarding aid, Minerva requires parental financial information for all students, with very few exceptions.  All responses in the CSS profile, as well as on the supporting documents provided, refer to parent, not student financial information.

Does Minerva provide full financial aid packages?

Minerva provides individualized financial support options that meet the demonstrated financial need of each admitted student. Possible financial assistance options include: low-interest student loans, scholarships, and term-time internships. Learn more about how we award financial aid here.

I am an international student; do I still need to complete the CSS profile?

Yes. In order to apply for financial aid, whether based in the U.S. or internationally, you are required to submit a CSS profile, as well as supporting financial documents in your Financial Aid Center.

What if my parents have not filed their 2017 federal income tax returns yet?

Please submit the following documents:

(1) 2016 federal income tax returns

(2) 2017 W-2s or other records of earned income

What information do the bank statements need to include?

Bank statements should show the account holder’s name, the date range that is covered by the statement, and the total amount of money available. Bank statements are required for all accounts held in each parent's name (checking, savings, investment, etc.).

What supporting documents are required to apply for financial aid?

In addition to completing the CSS profile and Minerva’s Financial Aid Questionnaire, all applicants should upload the following documents to their Financial Aid Center: (1) 2016 and 2017 Tax Returns and W2 forms for both parents, or the foreign country equivalent (income statements or letter of employment stating monthly salary). (2) Parents’ bank statements covering the four most recent months for each account held in their names (checking, savings, investment, etc.). These records are stored securely, are confidential, and are used only for the purpose of determining financial aid awards.

When is the Financial Aid deadline?

The Early Action financial aid deadline is November 15, 2017.

The Regular Decision I financial aid deadline is February 15, 2018.

The Regular Decision II financial aid deadline is April 1, 2018.

The financial aid deadline for returning students is February 15, 2018.

For all cycles, including Binding Enrollment applicants, complete the CSS Profile and upload your supporting documents to the Financial Aid Center by the listed deadline that corresponds with the admission cycle in which you applied.

Will student loans be made available?

Yes. In issuing financial aid packages, Minerva first employs low-interest student loans and term-time employment opportunities. To cover any remaining gap in the estimated cost of attendance, we provide need-based scholarships, thus meeting your family’s demonstrated need and enabling all qualified students to attend. Detailed information about loan structure and repayment schedule will be made available to all admits when they receive their financial aid award.

General Financial Assistance Questions

Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to remain eligible for financial aid?

There is no minimum GPA requirement to remain on financial aid, however students must continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress as detailed in the Student Handbook.

Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes. Students must submit a new financial aid application to Minerva each year to provide the most up-to-date financial information. The application is evaluated according to the same need-based guidelines that were in effect when the student was admitted.  If there are no major changes to a family’s financial situation from year to year, students can expect to receive a similar level of aid throughout their time at Minerva.

Do you give scholarships for academic merit, special talents, or athletic ability?

No. All financial aid awards are based solely on need. Learn more about how aid is assigned here.

How do you decide who gets financial aid?

Financial aid is awarded based on need only. Minerva uses the information you supply on your financial aid application and supporting documents to determine how much support will be provided.

How does Minerva handle external scholarships?

External scholarships first reduce the loan amount. If scholarship funds surpass this amount, 50 percent of the remainder reduces the expected family contribution and 50 percent reduces the scholarship amount Minerva initially offered.

If I do not apply for aid as a first-year student, can I request aid after my first year?

Yes. Students must apply for financial aid for each year that they attend Minerva. Returning students can apply for financial aid at any point during their time at Minerva and must complete all requirements by the February 15, 2018 deadline.

If I qualify for aid, how much assistance will I receive?

Minerva is committed to fully meeting the demonstrated need of each aid applicant based on an individualized evaluation by Minerva’s financial aid office. This is determined using the information provided in your CSS profile, Minerva’s questionnaire, and supporting documents.

If my aid award includes a work-study position, how many hours per week will I work?

Students who are awarded a Minerva work-study position are eligible to work up to 10 hours a week during the term when classes are in session. Although this is an upper limit, many students choose to work fewer hours; individual schedules are determined by each student with their direct supervisor. Students are paid hourly for the time that they work.

What are costs that will not be covered in my financial aid package?

The costs for required technology, travel, and health insurance are not paid directly to Minerva; as they vary widely by student they are not included in the estimated annual cost of attendance. There is also a $1,000 security deposit that is fully refundable when upon graduation given that no damage is done to Minerva’s residential property.

What are the terms of the loan?

Loans are structured so that students make small monthly payments to cover the loan interest while in school and you will begin repayment in full several months after graduation. Loans — which have an interest rate of 6.5%* — will not exceed $20,000 across all four years, and are deliberately structured to greatly minimize your financial burden after graduation.

*The exact interest rate is subject to change and will be determined at the time you complete your loan application.

What can I do if I am not happy with my financial aid package?

Financial aid packages are non-negotiable. The only way to appeal your financial aid is to provide new information about your family's financial profile. Please email updated information, along with an explanation as to how your circumstances changed, to financialaid@minerva.kgi.edu.

What does "need-based" financial aid mean?

Need-based means that all financial aid provided by Minerva is determined solely on the financial profile of your family. Minerva is committed to fully meeting the demonstrated need of each admit and will offer a package that enables you to attend no matter what country you are form.

What kinds of funds will be included in my financial aid package?

Minerva provides support through a combination of low-interest student loans, work-study opportunities, and scholarships. Learn more here.

When are my payments due?

  1. Early Action and Regular Decision I enrollment deposit ($500) due May 1

  2. Regular Decision 2 and Extended Decision enrollment deposit ($500) due May 1

  3. Term Bill payments are due at the beginning of each semester


First Semester: June 30

Second Semester: November 30

Students will have the option to pay each term bill in three installments. (A 1.5% enrollment fee applies to this option.)


Why is the tuition fee at Minerva so low compared to other schools? Does it affect the quality of education?

Minerva is committed to providing an extraordinary education at an exceptionally low cost. Instead of investing in non-essential facilities and amenities found on most university campuses, Minerva uses the vast resources of major world cities as educational, cultural, and social infrastructure. This allows Minerva to keep costs low, while focusing on maintaining small classes, advanced learning technology, leading faculty, and an unparalleled student experience.

Will I receive the same amount of financial aid every year?

It is Minerva’s policy to meet a student’s full demonstrated need each year. Award amounts may vary from year to year, based on changes in a family's financial circumstances and Minerva's cost of attendance.  If there are no major changes to a family’s financial situation from year to year, students can expect to receive a similar level of aid throughout their time at Minerva.

Residential Life

How does Minerva determine future residence hall locations?

Minerva strives to ensure that students have the opportunity to experience life in the world's most prominent political, economic, and cultural hubs. We evaluate locations based on a variety of factors, including quality of student experience, access to professional opportunities, and availability of secure housing. After the first year, you change locations every semester to maximize immersion in different cultures and languages, to develop a global network of connections prior to graduation, and to supplement classroom learning with direct experiences.

What is the full list of cities? Can we choose where we live?

Minerva currently has residence halls in San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and Hyderabad. You are not provided a choice where you live because residence hall locations are determined by Minerva.

Where in San Francisco are the residence halls? Tell me more about them.

The residence halls are located in the neighborhoods of Nob Hill and Mid-Market, with easy access to public transportation, markets, restaurants, and an array of culturally rich events and activities. Each residence hall provides shared kitchens and restroom facilities, as well as communal lounge spaces. During the 2017–18 academic year, students will occupy both residence halls.

Where in Seoul and Hyderabad are the residence halls? Tell me more about them.

The Seoul residence is located south of the Han River in the Gangnam District of Seoul. The area surrounding Gangnam Station is known for a broad range of commercial activity, from international businesses and many corporate headquarters, to an abundance of restaurants and entertainment options. Students will live in a modern twenty-story hotel with easy access to public transportation, cafes, and all of the conveniences of a near 24/7-operating Asian metropolitan hub. All students will be housed in one-room doubles with an ensuite kitchenette and bathroom.


The Hyderabad residence is located close to Hitech City. The area is vibrant, residential, and has plenty of neighboring amenities such as shops, kiosks, and restaurants. Minerva will occupy all five floors of the apartment building, including the use of the outdoor patio space and a cafeteria. Nearly all apartments have three bedrooms with three bathrooms, along with a full kitchen, living room, dining area, and balcony. Each unit will house seven students in two doubles and one triple room.

Will the residence halls have cafeterias or meal plans?

Minerva does not have a formal meal plan. You and your classmates will live in Minerva-designated residence halls, each of which has a communal kitchen so you can cook individual meals or prepare family-style group meals. All of our residence halls are in urban areas that have a variety of restaurants, markets, and shops nearby. We provide resources to help start your exploration of the city but then leave it to you to independently to source your preferred food options.

Student Experience

How will Minerva handle reunions?

Students not only share classroom experiences with their peers, but live with them, eat with them, and explore new cities with them. Just like any university experience, you have the opportunity to build everlasting friendships and connections with your peers — connections that last well beyond your four years at Minerva. We enable lifelong connections through a variety of programs and numerous online tools to ensure that you will have many avenues of communication with your fellow alumnae.

What kinds of activities will there be outside of the classroom experience? Who will organize these activities?

Minerva integrates the classroom experience with an ecosystem of projects, co-curriculars, extracurriculars, and community programs to facilitate experiential learning, develop character, and build community. We create opportunities for students to immerse themselves in each of their residential locations by challenging them to be active participants rather than tourists. The co-curriculars consists of immersive, behind-the-scenes experiences at leading companies, cultural centers, science labs, and local organizations. They are designed, curated, and facilitated by the Student Experience team, which has managers in each city. The co-curriculars provide practical context — from workshops to seminars — for students to apply the curriculum they are learning in the classroom in a real-world context and begin creating a portfolio of work for professional development.


Finally, the Student Experience team runs a university-wide program for project-based learning through civic projects — projects hosted by leading practitioners and experts in each residential location. These projects are co-designed and curated by the Student Experience team alongside civic partners, Minerva’s local partners. As a result, students have an opportunity to channel their academic assignments into meaningful, relevant work with local practitioners and experts in each city.

What types of students make up Minerva’s student body?

Minerva students are a diverse array of exceptionally bright, motivated, and forward-thinking students from around the world. Most are straight-A students, but we do not select students simply because of grades (in fact, we’ve turned down dozens of valedictorians). Many of our students are passionate about global issues and social justice, some are budding entrepreneurs, some are great athletes and artists, and others are published writers and researchers. Watch a series of videos that explores our student body.

Why would a student or parent choose Minerva over a traditional elite university?

Minerva is right for you if you are excited by the challenge of academic rigor, the opportunity for immersive global experiences, the ability to work closely with high profile academics, and the responsibility to help shape a university experience.

Will there be any sports available (either to watch or play)?

Minerva does not have a formal sports program. However, we encourage you to get involved with local sports teams, as spectators, or to participate in local intramural sports teams, as participants. For example, San Francisco has a wide variety of intramural sports teams including soccer, volleyball, baseball, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and more.

Will you help students arrange internships or will it be up to us?

Minerva has dedicated career support services to help you understand your professional values and goals, leverage Minerva's global employer network, identify internship and research opportunities, and launch your career upon graduation. Learn more here.