Paying for college is the number one concern students have; finding ways to pay takes attention away from time spent studying, learning, and experiencing all of the opportunities that available in the Food Systems major. That’s why we think it’s important to help our students pay for college through University, college, and department scholarships.

Many University, state, and federal scholarships and grants are given based off of your FAFSA. Filling out the FAFSA form takes time, but is completely free and could help you pay for college. The priority deadline is March 1 for freshmen, and April 30 for returning students. Even if you haven’t filled it out by the priority deadline, it’s still worth doing so to see what is available — you aren’t required to take everything or anything offered to you.

Incoming Freshmen

You are considered an entering freshman if you are still a high school student, or if you haven't enrolled in any college courses after graduating from high school. There is no separate application for scholarships as an incoming freshman; your application for admission to the U of M will suffice. he typical freshman scholarships from CFANS are $1,000 to $5,000 per year, for one or two years (with the option to reapply each additional year). These scholarships are based on criteria established by the donors for each scholarship. For example, criteria may include scholastic achievement, consistency of academic record, extracurricular and leadership activities, major and career objectives, place of residence, grade level, or financial need. Learn more on the CFANS website.

Departmental Scholarships

Undergraduate students in Food Systems are automatically entered for all departmental scholarships when they apply for college-level scholarships through the CFANS scholarship page. If you are not eligible for college scholarships, contact the scholarship coordinator at to gain access to the application. Apply and write "Department Scholarship Application Only" in the first line of your response to question #1 on the application.

External Scholarships

Students have the opportunity to apply for a number of privately funded scholarships that are applicable to a variety of CFANS majors. Find a listing of these scholarships on the CFANS website. Also, keep an eye in department newsletters for news about local scholarships and their deadlines.

You may also check the Seed Your Future Scholarship page for a list of scholarships. 

Markhart Scholars

Would you like to help increase food security in the Twin Cities Metro area while learning about ‘good’ food access? Scholars volunteer 45 hours with a local community organization that is working to increase access of healthy foods to underserved populations, and participate in a community of learners with interest in social justice and food security. In return, Scholars receive a monetary scholarship and a terrific opportunity to contribute to community efforts in sustainable food and horticulture. Applications open up in mid-September and scholars are chosen by mid-October, with the coursework taking place in the spring.

Conference Scholarships

One of the ways that our students learn about their future careers is by attending professional food systems-related conferences such as MOSES and the Minnesota Aquaponics Convention. The major supports this important component of student learning by covering the cost of attendance for these conferences, up to $250. Learn more about what you need to do to be reimbursed in the Forms and Advising section.