Frequently Asked Questions

About Minerva

How can Minerva offer admission to all students who qualify?

The unique nature of our admissions criteria and process allows us to identify the brightest, most motivated students in the world and our distinctive structure enables us to deliver the highest quality education possible to any student who meets our rigorous standards. Because classes are taught via live, video-based seminars, students and professors can live anywhere in the world, allowing us to conduct multiple classes across time zones.

How can Minerva offer such low tuition?

Minerva is committed to delivering an extraordinary education at a fraction of the cost of other highly-selective institutions. Our low tuition is possible because we only invest in the things needed to provide the best education possible. This means that we don’t own expensive real estate, outdated infrastructure, or support costly collegiate sports.

How is Minerva different from other undergraduate programs?

The key differences include:

  • Rigorous curriculum based on the science of learning
  • Accomplished faculty focused on student instruction
  • Four years of global cultural immersion
  • Only small seminars with fewer than 20 students
  • Advanced interactive learning environment
  • Lifelong career support services
  • Merit-based admissions for all qualified students
  • Accessible and affordable with tuition $12,500/year

What are the Minerva Schools at KGI?

Minerva offers an innovative 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 by KGI – the Keck Graduate Institute – a Western Senior College and University Commission-accredited institution, in partnership with Minerva Project.

What is included in the lifelong career services?

The Minerva Professional Development Agency team 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 has developed its proprietary Active Learning Forum platform, based on the science of learning, to exploit the latest advances in information technology. The live, video-based active learning seminars enhance student-to-professor and peer-to-peer interactions by ensuring that everyone is visibly engaged. 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. In addition, the asynchronous Active Learning Tools provide powerful capabilities for students and professors alike. These tools enable more frequent and better, data-rich feedback, schedule and assignment management, as well as searchable review of prior class footage.

What makes the Minerva curriculum distinctive?

The curriculum was intentionally structured to teach both breadth and depth, with an emphasis on four core skills — thinking critically, thinking creatively, communicating effectively, and interacting effectively. By exposing all students to interdisciplinary subject matter and continuously reinforcing key habits of mind and foundational concepts, we provide a broad and adaptable set of skills and knowledge that can be applied to any field. Depth of learning occurs in the major and concentration courses, as well as the self-directed capstone project, where you focus on a specific area of expertise (starting in your third year and continuing until the end of your final year).

Which global cities are included in the cultural immersion?

Residence halls are located in major cosmopolitan cities around the world. For the first year, you will live with your fellow students in San Francisco, California in the United States. You will spend subsequent years in up to six other cities, including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Taipei, and London.

Why are all classes small seminars?

Minerva classes are focused 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. This active learning approach is not supported by large lectures or other passive forms of teaching. The small size of our classes — fewer than 20 students — together with the advanced Active Learning Forum technology, enables professors to provide expert instruction, direct personal interaction, and frequent feedback.

Preparing to Apply

Can students apply for spring enrollment?

No. New student enrollment is strictly reserved for the fall semester. Due to the scaffolded nature of the Minerva Schools at KGI curriculum, there is only one start date each school year and all students are required to begin it together.

Can you apply 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.

Does Minerva accept home-schooled students, and 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 with any questions about providing the academic documents required.

Does Minerva accept standardized test scores?

No. 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 steps will present a unique 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 how can I apply?

Yes. Minerva offers two Masters: the first is a Masters of 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 Master’s degree offered by Minerva is a Masters 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 us at

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 in a number of steps during the admission process. TOEFL, IELTS or other standardized English fluency tests are not required for admissions.

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?

During every cycle, you have the opportunity to expedite your admissions notification by choosing to make your decision binding. This option is ideal if Minerva is your first choice school, you are prepared to make an enrollment deposit, and you want to know your status as soon as possible.

When is the application deadline?

Minerva offers multiple admission cycles for students who would like to matriculate in Fall 2017. Students can only apply in one admissions cycle per academic year, so if they are denied admission in one cycle, they cannot apply again in the next one.

Early Action:

Applications are accepted through November 1, 2016. Students will be notified by December 15, 2016, and admitted students have until May 1, 2017 to commit to Minerva and submit their deposit.

Regular Decision I: 

Applications are accepted through January 17, 2017. Students will be notified by April 1, 2017. Those admitted during the Regular Decision application cycle will have until May 1, 2017 to commit to Minerva and submit their deposit.

Regular Decision II:

Applications are accepted through March 15, 2017. Students will be notified by April 26, 2017. Those admitted during this cycle are notified before or on April 15, 2017. Students must confirm enrollment by May 1, 2017. If a student is notified after April 15, 2017 they must confirm enrollment by May 10, 2017 and submit their deposit.

Extended Decision: 

This submission deadline is by invitation only. Students admitted during this cycle must confirm enrollment within two weeks of the admissions notification, or by May 10, 2017, whichever is sooner.

Who can apply to Minerva?

Minerva is 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.


Can I apply through the Common Application?

Yes. You may apply to Minerva through the Common Application. 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’?

Minerva encourages you to review your application thoroughly before you submit it. If information you have submitted changes (for example, your address), please send an email to with the following in the subject line: “Application Updates for [Your Full Name].” Please 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 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

How do I know that Minerva Schools at KGI 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 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 30–45 minutes to complete the online application. 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.

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 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 of your application. 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 will require a counselor or other school official to verify the validity of these documents.


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 the Minerva Schools at KGI 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. However, applicants admitted through Binding Enrollment are not permitted to defer enrollment to a future year. 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 unique admissions process is designed to discover who you are and what you are passionate about. The three parts of our admissions process are designed to identify whether you are the type of student who will succeed at Minerva. In the first part, you complete the application by telling us about yourself, including your academic performance and one example of an accomplishment. In the second part, you will be presented with a series of engaging challenges designed to assess how you think. Then, in the third part, 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 anywhere in 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 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, or use the chat feature on our website. To speak with our team in the chat, click the ‘+’ sign 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.


Can I do a double major or a double concentration?

Yes. You may choose either to double major or do a double concentration.

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; three Associate Deans, 30 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, the Minerva Schools at KGI award 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 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?

We have two 15-week semesters with an extended summer break and a long winter break. Students also have short Thanksgiving 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.


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, Buenos Aires, Berlin, and Taipei. You’ll 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.

We also plan to offer additional advanced degree programs in the future.

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 your professors will allow 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 empty exercises that typically are assigned in “laboratory courses”). At Minerva you will acquire the analytical abilities and core knowledge that medical 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 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

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.

Will Minerva teach foreign languages? If so, what languages will you offer?

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, regular themed “tables” at meals, and ample informal opportunities to practice a language.

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 19 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 on 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.

Will applying for aid hurt my chance of being admitted to Minerva?

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.

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.

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 and Fees page.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

The Early Action financial aid deadline is November 15, 2016.

The Regular Decision I financial aid deadline is February 15, 2017.

The Regular Decision II financial aid deadline is April 1, 2017.

The Extended Decision financial aid deadline is April 20, 2017.

The financial aid deadline for returning students is February 15, 2017.

For all cycles, 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 addition to tuition, students will be expected to pay for room, board, insurance, books, and miscellaneous expenses which will amount to approximately $16,950 per year.

What is Minerva’s tuition?

The tuition for Minerva is $12,500 per year for the 2017-2018 school year.

Why do I need to pay a deposit?

The enrollment deposit guarantees your place at Minerva. There is also a one-time security deposit that is fully refunded after completing your final year at Minerva if you do not damage Minerva residence hall 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 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.

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 them 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 by the deadline.

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 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.

Does Minerva provide full financial aid packages?

Minerva provides individualized financial support options that meet the proven financial need of each admitted student. Possible financial assistance options include: low-interest student loans, scholarships, summer and term-time internships with Minerva, and becoming a Resident Assistant (RA).

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.

What if my parents have not filed their 2016 federal income tax returns yet?

Please submit the following documents:

(1) 2015 federal income tax returns

(2) 2016 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, business, investment, etc.).

What supporting documents are required to apply for financial aid?

All applicants should upload the following documents to their Financial Aid Center: (1) 2015 and 2016 Tax Returns and W2 forms for parents and, if applicable, students. OR foreign country equivalent (earning statements, letter of employment confirmation, etc.) (2) A copy of parents’ four most recent monthly bank statements for each account held in their names. 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, 2016.

The Regular Decision I financial aid deadline is February 15, 2017.

The Regular Decision II financial aid deadline is April 1, 2017.

The Extended Decision financial aid deadline is April 20, 2017.

The financial aid deadline for returning students is February 15, 2017.

Please make sure to complete your CSS profile online and upload your supporting documents in the Financial Aid Center by the date that corresponds with the admission cycle in which you applied.

Will student loans be made available?

Yes. For students who qualify for financial aid, packages typically comprise a low-interest loan — not exceeding $20,000 across all four years, work-study opportunities, and scholarships to meet remaining need. This combination incentivizes ongoing family support, while reducing any lasting financial burden after graduation.

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.

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.

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 on the Tuition & Aid page of Minerva’s website.

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 freshman, 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 Regular Decision I February 15, 2017 deadline.

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

Minerva is committed to meeting 100 percent of the calculated need of each aid applicant based on an individualized evaluation by Minerva’s financial aid office. This is determined using the information you provide in your CSS profile 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 12 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.

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.

What are the terms of the loan?

The exact interest rate will be determined at the time you complete your loan application during the summer before you matriculate. 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.

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

What does "need-based" mean?

"Need-based" means that Minerva accepts all qualified students regardless of their ability to pay the cost of attendance and meets their full demonstrated financial need. There is no disadvantage of any kind in the admission process for financial aid applicants.

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

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

When are my payments due?

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

  2. Regular Decision 2 and Extended Decision enrollment deposit ($500) due May 10

  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.)

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 the extensive 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.

Residential Life

How are you deciding where you will establish future residence halls?

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 are the future global locations? Will we have a choice where we live?

In addition to San Francisco, Minerva will have residence halls in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The next two global locations are Berlin and Buenos Aires. You are not provided a choice where you live because residence hall locations are determined by Minerva.

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

Our Berlin residence hall is located in central Berlin in an area called Kreuzberg, which borders Mitte. The buildings are conveniently located in terms of public transport (Kottbusser Tor/Heinrich-Heine-Platz), shopping facilities, markets, cafes, and restaurants. The apartments are spacious, all have a living room, one single bedroom, one double bedroom and a private balcony. You will also have your private kitchen in your apartment.

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 space. During the 2016–17 academic year, all students will live in the residence hall located in the Mid-Market area.

Will the San Francisco residence hall have a cafeteria? What is the meal plan?

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 dinners. All of our residence halls are in urban areas that have a variety of restaurants, markets, and shops nearby. We also provide resources to help start your exploration of the city.

Student Experience

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

Minerva does not have a formal sports program (e.g., varsity sports). 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.

My parents still keep in touch with the friends they made in college and occasionally return to their college campus for reunions. 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 co-curriculars, extracurriculars, and community programs to facilitate experiential learning 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. This is organized by the Student Experience team, which has Student Experience Managers in each city. The co-curriculars provide practical context — from challenges to workshops and projects — for students to apply the curriculum they are learning in the classroom and begin creating a portfolio of work for professional development.

In addition to co-curriculars, community programs (signature experiences, traditions, and rituals) help build character development and a sense of community within the student body, faculty, and staff.

Finally, Micos (Minerva Communities) are student-driven initiatives supported by staff. They include participating in intramural sports, launching an outdoor exploration Mico, singing in an a capella group, joining a city-wide book club, and joining a surfing group.

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.

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 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.