Types of Aid

Federal Student Aid Programs include grants, loans and part-time employment. Eligibility for most of these programs is based upon the "demonstrated financial need" of the student applicant and the applicant's family. See “How Aid Is Calculated” for information on how need is determined. Financial need is not an eligibility criterion for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, and Grad PLUS Loan. Therefore, most federal student aid applicants will be eligible for some form of financial assistance through the federal student aid programs regardless of demonstrated financial need. In order for eligibility to be determined federal student aid applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

Students must complete FAFSA and submit any required documents for any of the Federal Aid Programs listed below.

What is Student Financial Aid?

Student financial aid is economic assistance to help you finance your college education. This assistance is awarded to help pay your educational expenses. This help can be in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, employment or waivers. Financial aid is intended to supplement, not replace financial contributions from you and your parents (spouse if married). Students and parents (spouse) have the primary responsibility to pay for college. For Federal Student Aid purposes, the family is expected to pay as much as they reasonably can based on a formula developed and updated by the United States Congress. (Please refer to the section entitled "How Your Financial Aid Eligibility Is Determined" under Policies and Information.

General Student Eligibility Requirements

To establish and maintain eligibility for federal student aid and some other student aid programs you must:

  • Be a regularly admitted student enrolled in a degree program. Exceptions to this policy.
  • Be enrolled as indicated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Notify the Department of Student Financial Aid regarding any change to your enrollment hours as this may necessitate an adjustment to your award.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (Federal Student Aid)
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant
  • Not be in default on an educational loan
  • Agree to use federal student aid funds solely for educational purposes
  • Not have borrowed in excess of annual or aggregate limits on a Title IV student loan
  • Apply for each aid type being requested by the deadline date each year as required
  • Incarcerated students. Restrictions in eligibility.
  • Meet other requirements as specified by federal, state and institutional regulations
    and policies

Types of Federal Aid


Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a "need based" grant awarded to undergraduate students working on a first bachelor's degree. Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and to determine the family EFC, or Estimated Family Contribution). Please refer to Federal Student Aid for annual minimum and maximum amounts. (You may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.) If a student withdraws or receives a non-passing grade for a class, we must confirm that the student attended at least one class or performed at least one academic activity in that class. If your attendance is not verified in the class for which you withdrew or received a non-passing grade your Pell funding may be reduced.

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Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a "need based" grant awarded to undergraduate students, enrolled in a first bachelor's degree program who are eligible for a Pell Grant. SEOG funds are limited so MSU uses the following matrix to select applicants for this award: Student must be full Pell Grant eligible. Of those students who are full Pell Grant eligible we will select those with the highest need. The students are broken down into in-state and out-of-state populations. Once the pool of applicants is identified from the matrix we then make awards based on the submitted date of the FAFSA. Since the funds are limited, not all eligible students will be awarded. The SEOG award (if eligible) will be shown on your Award Notification.

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Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH GRANT)

The Federal TEACH Grant Program provides financial assistance, through the federal student aid programs, to students while attending college, majoring in an academic program that will allow them to teach in high need subject areas, as highly qualified teachers, at Title I (low income serving) elementary or secondary schools in the United States.

Learn more about Teach Grant Program

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Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a "need based" part-time work program which allows students to earn money to help pay educational expenses. The amount shown on the Award Notification is the maximum amount available to earn on the FWS program. FWS will not be available at registration for the payment of fees. FWS student employees will be paid based upon the current minimum wage twice per month. The maximum award allows student employees to work an estimated 16 hours per week.

Learn more about Federal Work Study

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Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Perkins Loan is a "need based", revolving loan fund utilizing both federal and institutional funds. This award is a loan and must be repaid by the borrower. The federal government pays the interest while the student is in school at least half-time, during a nine-month grace period, and during periods of deferment. Federal Perkins Loan awards will only be made through September 30, 2017. 

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Federal Direct Student Loan Programs

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs are low interest loans that undergraduates, graduates and parents of dependent undergraduates may borrow directly from the U.S. Treasury. They include the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. These loan programs are designed to help all eligible students and parents, with and without financial need, pay for the student's educational expenses.

  • Federal Direct Loan
    Only eligible students may borrow through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The Federal Direct Loan can be subsidized or unsubsidized depending primarily on the student's demonstrated need. Learn more about the Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
    Only eligible parents of eligible dependent undergraduates may borrow through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. The amount parents may borrow is the student's Cost of Attendance minus the Estimated Financial Aid to be received during the loan period. Learn more about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • Direct Grad PLUS Loan
    Only graduate or professional student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a graduate or professional degree or certificate may borrow through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. The maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. Student borrower must not have an adverse credit history. Apply Here
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Types of Non-Federal Aid


Mississippi State Promise Program

The Mississippi State Promise Program is for full-time Mississippi resident students seeking their first bachelor's degree. Students must either be entering freshmen with a 3.0 high school grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and an official composite ACT score of 19 or higher, or an entering community college transfer student with a 2.50 GPA on a 4.0 scale (after completing a minimum of 48 eligible transfer hours). The total family income must be less than $30,000. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and must be Pell Grant eligible.

Learn more on The Mississippi State Promise Program

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Alternative Loans (private or non-federal)

Students who do not qualify for federal financial aid, or who need additional funds beyond what federal financial aid can provide, have an option of applying for an alternative (private or non-federal) educational loan. Alternative loans are generally more expensive, therefore should only be considered if absolutely necessary. In most cases, the student applicant's credit and/or co-signer's credit must be approved by the lender. The eligible loan amount can be no greater than the Cost of Attendance minus all other Estimated Financial Aid.

Apply for a Private/Alternative Loan

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State Student Financial Aid (MTAG, MESG, Etc., for Mississippi Residents Only)

Several student financial aid programs are offered by the state of Mississippi through the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid in Jackson, MS. Some of these programs are offered specifically for teacher education majors, nursing majors, medical students and dental students. Two of the larger programs offered are the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant/Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MTAG/MESG). These two programs do not require a specific academic major, and are available to all resident students who meet the eligibility criteria.

NOTE: State aid program awards for undergraduate students can be provided only for undergraduate hours of enrollment. Example: If full-time enrollment is required to receive a state aid award (such as MTAG/MESG) then the student must be enrolled in at least 15 undergraduate hours each semester that the state aid award is to be received.

For information or to apply for State Aid Programs contact:

Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone Number: 1-800-327-2980

Contact Website

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