Freeborn County Community Promise Scholarship


The Freeborn County Community Promise Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for area high school graduates to earn a tuition-free college education here at Riverland.

The scholarship offers up to 65 credits for any program on any campus, including online. Funding serves as a last-dollar scholarship, covering expenses not met by other financial aid sources a student may receive. The Promise Scholarship is made possible by community organizations, businesses, foundations, and individuals because education matters, and our students have promise!

Who Qualifies for the Freeborn County Community Promise Scholarship?
  • Students must be a resident of Freeborn County.
  • Students must be a 2024 graduate of a high school in Freeborn County. This includes Freeborn County residents/students graduating from Albert Lea High, Alden Conger High, Glenville Emmons High and New Richland, Hartland, Ellendale, Geneva (NRHEG).
  • Students must meet at least ONE of the following requirements by the end of the student’s senior year:
    • Earn a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher
    • ACT Composite score of 18 or higher
    • ASVAB score of 31 or higher
    • MCA Reading Score of 1042 or higher and MCA Math Score of 1132 or higher (MCA Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment)
  • Student must have been enrolled at one of the qualifying high schools for at least one full semester. (Full semester enrollment for spring of graduation year)
  • Students must be enrolled as a degree seeking student in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing at Riverland Community College.
What does this scholarship cover?
  • The Freeborn County Community Promise Scholarship is only applicable at Riverland Community College. Riverland has campuses in Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna as well as online programs.
  • Graduates of the Class of 2024 must enroll at Riverland in the academic year following their high school graduation to be eligible for the scholarship. (Summer, Fall, Spring)
  • Students will have three years from their graduation date to be eligible for the scholarship. The last semester of eligibility for the Class of 2024 will be Spring 2027.
  • Students will be eligible for up to 65 credits. Additional credits will be the student’s responsibility.
  • Students must be degree-seeking at Riverland to use the scholarship. Visiting or non-degree seeking students are not eligible.
  • Students are required to complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application every year they are enrolled.
  • Students who are not residents of Freeborn County and did not graduate from one of the high schools listed above, DO NOT qualify for the scholarship. Homeschool students are not eligible.
How much is the scholarship?
  • The scholarship will pay for up to 100% of the student’s tuition and fees that are not funded by Federal and/or Minnesota State grants, including the NorthStar Promise Scholarship, or other scholarships.
  • The Freeborn County Community Promise Scholarship is applied as last dollar/GAP funding for students. The scholarship will pay remaining tuition after state and federal grants and other scholarships have been applied to student accounts.
  • Because of this, each student is expected to complete the FAFSA to receive the scholarship. Other sources of funding apply to the student’s tuition balance first and this scholarship makes up the difference.
How do I know if I’m eligible for this scholarship?
  • Review the academic criteria to see if you have already qualified. If not, please visit with your high school counselor to review your options.
  • Later this semester all students who are academically eligible will be notified.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so your Federal and State Aid can be determined.
  • There is no “application” for this scholarship. You will be eligible based on your academic criteria and your completion of the FAFSA.
  • If you are academically eligible or hope to be by the end of your senior year, APPLY at Riverland and ENROLL in the program of your choice. Once your Financial Aid eligibility is determined, your scholarship will be applied to your student account based on the remaining balance for the semester.
Why was this scholarship created?
  • Community leaders identified a need to help local students attend Riverland, our local community college. Riverland offers more than 100 degrees, diplomas, and certificates that can prepare students for careers throughout our community. This scholarship encourages students to explore careers right here in our community where they can make a difference for our local workforce.
  • The Albert Lea and Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, and Riverland Community College Foundation have worked together to gather community support from local organizations, businesses and individuals to create this scholarship opportunity for the Class of 2024.
  • It is our hope that this scholarship program will continue beyond the Class of 2024. We are still raising support for the future. Please contact, Janelle Koepke with the Riverland Foundation if you are interested in supporting the scholarship -

Still have questions? Please email