Welcome to Leech Lake Tribal College Financial Aid Office! To ensure you have proper funding for the cost of this goal, it is important for you to plan financially as early as possible.

Best wishes to you on achieving your goals!

Chongxian Zhao (David)
Financial Aid Director
VA School Certifying Official

Our Mission

The LLTC financial aid office is dedicated to providing the highest quality service to our students and the future of LLTC by utilizing the Anishinaabe Values while maintaining regulatory compliance.

You can call student service department at (218) 335 – 4270 to assist you in answering general questions regarding financial aid application processes and general guidelines. You can also direct your questions by emailing chongxian.zhao@lltc.edu to get helped with pertinent and critical FAFSA process information.

Get Help Paying For College

Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Go to the official FAFSA website and start the process today.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available for the upcoming academic year on October 1, 2024.  Please complete this application as soon as possible.

Need Help? Contact Chongxian Zhao, our Financial Aid Director at (218) 335-4270,
or visit the FAFSA website Frequently Asked Questions page: FAFSA Help

FAFSA - Federal Student Aid Logo

LLTC Federal Student Code: 030964

Types of Aid

Federal Grants

Federal Pell grants: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an application for federal student aid. The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1st. This year, however, it will not be released until January 1st, 2024. Our school code is 030964. Submitting the FAFSA enables us to evaluate your federal aid eligibility. This may include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and more! https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

Need help? Contact Chongxian Zhao, our Financial Aid Director at (218) 335-4270 or visit the FAFSA website Frequently Asked Questions page

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG):Like the Pell Grant, the FSEOG is awarded to undergraduate students with the lowest EFC. Priority must be given to Pell Grant recipients. Very limited funds are available, so it is critical to apply as early as possible to be considered for this grant. Learn more about FSEPG: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/grants/fseog

State Grants

The Minnesota State Grant is awarded to undergraduate Minnesota residents with a low EFC attending a MN post-secondary institution. Once a student has attempted the equivalent of 4 full-time years of post-secondary education, the student is no longer eligible for the grant. Students have to complete the FAFSA and have a student account for State.


Minnesota Indian Scholarship

The Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students who are of one-fourth or more American Indian ancestry or be an enrolled member or citizen of a federally-recognized American Indian tribe or Canadian First Nation.

Requirements: Scholarships are available to eligible Minnesota resident students who are enrolled members or citizens of a federally-recognized American Indian tribe or Canadian First Nation or who are of ¼ or more American Indian ancestry. 9 credits is the minimum requirements to receive Minnesota Indian Scholarship.


Work Study

The primary purpose of the Federal Work Study Program as outlined by Federal Regulations is to provide part-time employment for students who demonstrate financial need in order to defray/contribute to the cost of higher education. Work Study employment allows students the opportunity to earn their aid and is not intended to interfere with a student’s education; a student’s studies will be given first priority. The job could pay as little as $8.85/ hour (the current federal minimum wage) to $15/hour or more.


  1. Apply and complete the FAFSA.
  2. Students must meet SAP standards.
  3. Students must have unmet need.
  4. The number of hours of part-time work is based on the student’s financial need per year.
  5. Maximum award is based on a student’s need.

Veterans Benefits

VA education benefits help Veterans, service members, and their qualified family members with needs like paying college tuition, finding the right school or training program, and getting career counseling. The Minnesota GI Bill program provides assistance to eligible Minnesota Veterans, currently serving military, National Guard and Reserve members who served after September 11, 2001, and eligible spouses and dependents. For questions, please directly contact Leech Lake Student Service department.

Tribal Grants

Please see out Tribal Grants and Scholarships page

Institutional Scholarships

Please see out LLT Scholarships page

Private Foundation Scholarships

American Indian college Fund: The American Indian College Fund is the nation’s highest-rated charity supporting Native higher education and has provided more than 143,281 scholarships to American Indian students since its inception in 1989. It provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native college students who are enrolled in certificate, undergraduate, or graduate programs at tribal colleges and universities, or nonprofit, accredited schools.


Financial Aid Regulations


Verification is a process that the U.S. Department of Education uses to make sure that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. The federal government selects approximately 18 percent of student financial applications for verification.

We encourage those selected for verification to submit the required documents as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment of grants & scholarships. Students who are selected for verification must submit the required documentation to the Leech Lake Tribal College Financial Aid office thirty days before they expect to have their cases resolved.

Professional Judgement

Professional Judgment refers to the authority of a college’s financial aid office to make adjustments to the data elements on the FAFSA (special circumstances) and/or to adjust a student’s dependency status (unusual circumstances) on a case-by-case basis. The college does not have the authority to change the need analysis formula itself or to make direct adjustments to the Student Aid Index (SAI) formerly the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Instead, the school may make adjustments to the inputs to the formula. The changes to the inputs are dictated by the impact of the special circumstances on the family’s income and assets. The standard formula is then applied to the new data elements, yielding a new SAI figure.

The FAFSA Simplification Actdistinguishes between different categories of professional judgment by amending section 479A of the HEA.

Special Circumstancesrefer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the SAI calculation.

Unusual Circumstancesrefer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

A student may have both a special circumstance and an unusual circumstance. Financial aid administrators (FAAs) may make adjustments that are appropriate to each student’s situation with appropriate documentation.


When a student who is a Title IV recipient withdraws, there are two policies related to finance that the student should be familiar with.

The First is LLTC Tuition Refunds Policy, which is located in the Finance office.

The second policy is the U.S. Department of Education’s Return of Title IV Funds policy, which is described below.

Policy Summary

The Federal “Return of Title IV Funds” legislation requires that when a student completely withdraws on or before completing 60% of the semester, the amount of financial aid (federal grants and loans) earned must be calculated. The school and/or student may then be required to return some of the federal funds awarded to the student. The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. If a student received more aid than was earned, the excess funds must be returned.

Rights and Responsibilities of Financial Aid Recipients

Students have the right to:

  • Know that your financial aid is based on calculated financial need.
  • Receive financial aid as long as you maintain your eligibility and meet your responsibilities.
  • Be informed of the terms of any award that is offered
  • Know how financial aid is determined, including the determination and amount of the Student Aid Index
  • Privacy of information regarding your financial aid
  • Report any significant loss or reduction in financial situation and seek a professional judgement
  • Access your financial aid file in consultation with the financial aid department

Student have the responsibility to:

  • Complete an application for financial aid annually to demonstrate continued need
  • Provide accurate and factual information on all financial aid forms
  • Notify the financial aid department and registrar office of any changes in information including: Withdraw from school, outside awards or private scholarships you receive, changes in information provided on your application.
  • Read and understand all financial aid forms and keep copies of them
  • Use financial aid only for educational related expenses
  • Submit forms by the deadlines and to keep financial aid appointments
  • Know and comply with the policies for financial aid

Undeclared Majors

The U.S. Department of Education requires that a person be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program in order to receive Federal Aid. Undeclared non-degree seeking students are not eligible for Federal Aid because they are not enrolled for the purpose of seeking a certificate or degree.