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

The State Rep. Bill Kinkade Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (Faith) Scholarship

The State Rep. Bill Kinkade Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (FAITH) Scholarship was created by the 2022 Legislature to provide full COA scholarships to students who have interacted with the state’s foster care system.   The Scholarship awards up to full COA after all other grant aid has been applied.

To qualify for the scholarship, the student must have a FAFSA on file and self-identifies as a foster youth on the MAAPP, which sends a notice to the Dept. of Child Protection Services or one of three Qualified Residential Living Facilities requesting certification of eligibility.


Learn More about the Bill Kinkade Scholarship


Children of Fallen Hero Scholarship

Beginning with the 2018-19 award year, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while serving as a public safety officer is eligible, under this scholarship, to receive a maximum Pell Grant award and a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for purposes of campus-based aid and Direct Loan awarding.

To qualify for the scholarship, the student must be otherwise Pell-eligible, have a Pell-eligible EFC that is greater than zero, and be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death.

Learn more about Children of Fallen Hero Scholarship


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.


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.


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


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


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 (also referred to as Stafford Loans) 
    Only eligible students enrolled atleast half time 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 enrolled atleast half time 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. Apply Here
  • Direct Grad PLUS Loan
    Only graduate or professional students enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a graduate or professional degree may borrow through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. Learn more about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.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

Types of Non-Federal Aid

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


State Student Financial Aid (MTAG, MESG, HELP, etc., (Mississippi Residents Only)

Several student financial aid programs are offered by the state of Mississippi. Some of the programs available are specifically for teacher education majors, nursing majors, medical students and dental students. However, some of the larger programs offered are the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG), Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG), Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP), and The State Rep. Bill Kinkade Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (Faith) Scholarship. These programs do not require a specific academic major, and are available to all resident students who meet the eligibility criteria. A complete list of programs are available at https://www.msfinancialaid.org/.

Application Deadlines:   HELP Grant – March 31     MTAG/MESG – Sept 15     FAITH Scholarship- Sept 15

Multiple State Grants Eliminated:

Eligible undergraduate students will receive state grants through only one state grant program. Students eligible for aid through multiple programs will be awarded the program that awards the largest amount.

GPA Requirements:

Academic eligibility will be reviewed at the end of EACH semester, for ALL state aid programs. Students now must establish and maintain the required GPA each semester to continue to receive state aid.

Full-time Enrollment for State Aid Funds:

Students are required to enroll in and earn at least 15 credit hours to maintain eligibility for state funds (this does not apply towards federal aid {grants/loans} or MSU scholarships). Students who complete 15 credit hours but do not earn 15 credit hours (because of failing grade, dropped class, audited course, withdrawal hours) will lose eligibility for the next semester.


Students who undergo a significant personal event or students nearing degree completion (6-14 credit hours remaining) may appeal for an exception for a single term. Information on how to appeal can be viewed online at: https://www.msfinancialaid.org/appeal/.

Cost of Attendance:

Students receiving state aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance. If this occurs, the state aid award may have to be reduced or cancelled.

Electronic College Grade Verification:

Students who receive notification from the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid to submit an Electronic College Grade Verification, will need to send an email to jll368@msstate.edu. Please include your MSU ID#.

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

Visit Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid