Mississippi State University strives to combine access and excellence in fulfilling its traditional role as The People's University and in keeping with the needs of Mississippi. The Mississippi State Promise is a program designed to help entering freshmen and community college transfer students from low-income Mississippi families attend Mississippi State.
In general, an eligible student must be admitted into a first baccalaureate degree program, enroll full time, be a Mississippi resident and either an entering freshman 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 student must meet general eligibility requirements to participate in federal student aid programs and must be Pell Grant eligible. The family income must be $32,000 or less. Each student must establish eligibility for the program the semester he/she enters MSU.
Entering freshman recipients who maintain eligibility in subsequent years may participate in the program for a maximum of five years and entering community college transfer students may participate in the program for a maximum of three years. Recipients must maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum 2.50 MSU GPA, must continue to be Pell Grant eligible each year, and must maintain eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs to sustain eligibility. NOTE: Renewal MSU Promise students who have remaining semesters of MSU Promise eligibility, but who lose Federal Pell Grant eligibility specifically due to the federal Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) requirements may be able to receive remaining semester MSU Promise Benefits. However, the calculation to determine the amount of the MSU Promise grant benefit (see Award Benefits below) will include the amount of the Federal Pell Grant that was lost due to LEU requirements.
The amount of the Mississippi State Promise award for each student will be the student's base amount of tuition for fall and/or spring semesters (as assessed to all full-time, undergraduate Mississippi resident students) minus all federal, state, institutional and/or other grants, scholarships and waivers. In other words, the Mississippi State Promise award will "bridge the gap" between the cost of tuition minus all other gift aid.
Other aid programs, such as federal and state grants, work-study, student loans and parent loans, also may be available to help pay other educational costs like housing, books, food, etc.
As with any student aid program offered by MSU, the student's total financial aid package, including the Mississippi State Promise benefits, cannot exceed the student's total cost of attendance during any school year.
Application Procedures for MSU Promise Program
Students must complete the MSU admission and scholarship process by the priority date, as well as the federal student aid application and State of Mississippi student aid application processes, and be admitted to MSU. This includes filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1st of each year for the upcoming school year. The FAFSA and all required documents must be reviewed by April 1st. Students must also complete all applicable online State of Mississippi applications (such as MTAG/MESG) each year by the application deadline date. The number of students in the Promise Program is limited. Therefore, participation is awarded on a "first come, first serve" basis, until the program has reached its capacity.