Winter Session Student General Financial Aid Information

Below is some general financial aid information on the 2020 winter session here at Mississippi State University. Please remember that for financial aid purposes, we will combine a student’s enrolled hours in the winter session with the spring term to determine eligibility for aid. Below is some additional information concerning the winter session and financial aid:

  • The winter session is a five-week term in which undergraduates can take up to two courses, and graduate students can take up to one course.
  • Students who are registered full time (12 credit hours or more) for the spring semester and are registering for winter session classes generally will not be eligible for any additional Pell Grant or Federal student loans for the winter session. Parent Plus or alternative loans might be an option.
  • Students who are registering for winter session only may be eligible for Pell Grant and Federal student loans if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Student aid will be disbursed to student accounts on December 30, 2020 for both the winter session and spring term.
  • Students enrolled in the winter session and subsequently drop a winter session class or receive a grade of F (and stopped attending the class before it ended) will have their Pell Grant removed for those classes.
  • Students registered for the combined winter session and spring semester who are  receiving Pell Grant and who do not complete and/or are not registered in 12 credit hours on the Pell census date of January 13, 2021, will have their Pell Grant reduced.
  • Federal student loans will be reduced to $0 if students never begin attendance in the minimum number of required hours (6 hours for undergraduate and 5 for graduate). The total number of minimum hours needed will be a combination of the hours in the winter session plus the hours in the spring semester.
  • Students registered for the winter session with an estimated credit balance owed back to them after their winter session and spring term charges are paid will have the opportunity to apply for and receive funds not to exceed $300 from the book loan program to help purchase books. The dates that a student can apply for and receive the book loan are November 23rd through December 9th.

Financial Aid Q&A


When does the Winter Session Start?

Pre-registration period for the Winter Session and Spring Semester begins November 2 and classes will begin December 1. The last day to add or drop a class is December 2. See the complete calendar below for more information:

Winter Session Important Dates:

December 1............... Classes begin
December 2............... Last day to drop or add a course (2nd class day)
December 18............. Last day to drop a course with a “W” grade (14th class day) 5:00 p.m.
December 21............. Last day to withdraw from the University (5 class days remaining
December 30............. Financial aid disbursement date for winter and spring terms
December 31............. Classes end
January 4.................... Final Examinations

Top

How will my financial aid be impacted if I drop classes or receive a “F” grade and stop attending the class before the end of the winter session?

If you have Federal student aid and are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from school, contact the Student Financial Aid Office first by calling (662) 325-2450. You may end up owing a balance to the University.

Below are some examples that illustrate how student financial aid is impacted if a student does not complete all classes he or she is registered for. These are not all inclusive, and outcomes could vary depending on each student’s circumstances.

Example 1: Student enrolls in six hours for winter session but drops one class. Student is not enrolled for Spring.

The student financial aid will not pay for the class with a W grade. The student will only be paid Pell Grant (assuming they qualify) for the class they completed, and the student will not eligible for Federal student loans. 

Example 2: Student gets a W grade in the winter session and is enrolled for spring term:

The student will not be paid student financial aid for any winter session course with a W grade. To receive the maximum Pell Grant, students should have completed and be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours for Winter Session and Spring Term combined on the Pell Census Date (January 13, 2021). To receive Federal student loans, undergraduate students should be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours (5 or more credit hours for graduate students). Keep in mind, W grades in the winter session would not be counted towards the minimum number of hours needed for a student loan.

Example 3: Student who is enrolled in winter session only and withdraws or has a combination of W’s and F grades (student received an F grade for a class that was not completed):

This would be a complete withdrawal, and the student’s Federal student aid for winter session may be prorated based on the federal return of Title IV aid calculation. The student may owe a balance to the University.

Example 4: Student receives a F grade in winter session for a class in which they never began attendance or stopped attending:

In this situation, the student will initially be paid Pell Grant (assuming they qualify) for the course with the F grade but may have to return the Pell Grant funds for this course unless the student has completed and/or is enrolled in 12 or more credit for winter session and spring term combined on the Pell Census Date (January 13, 2021).

Example 5: Student completes winter session and never enrolls in or drops spring term classes while still enrolled for winter session:

This student will be paid Pell Grant (assuming they qualify) for winter hours enrolled (excluding W or F grades where the student stop attending) in at the time of enrollment freeze (January 13, 2021). If he or she was in 6 undergraduate or 5 graduate hours for the winter session on the disbursement date (December 30), any student loan will pay excluding any winter classes with a W grade.

Example 6: Student enrolled in winter session and regular spring term but drops spring term classes while still enrolled in Winter Session, then drops winter session as well.

This would be a complete withdrawal and the student’s Federal student aid for winter session would be prorated based on a Federal return of Title IV aid calculation. The student may owe a balance to the University.

Example 7: Student completes Winter Session but withdraws from regular spring term after Spring classes begin.

Pell Grant and/or Federal student loans will pay based on the number of hours completed and enrolled in for combined winter session and spring semester on the Pell census date (January 13, 2021). This would be a complete withdrawal, and the student’s Federal student aid for the combined winter session and spring term would be prorated based on a Federal return of Title IV aid calculation. The student may owe a balance to the University.

Example 8: Student drops all winter session classes but stays enrolled in spring term classes.

In this situation, the student should confirm at the time they drop the winter term classes that she or he plans to attend the spring term classes. The student will not be paid any Federal student aid for the dropped classes. The student would only be paid Federal financial aid for the spring term classes.  If the student does not begin enrollment in the spring term or begins enrollment and later withdraws, this would be a complete withdrawal and the student’s Federal student aid for winter session and spring term would be prorated based on a Federal return of Title IV aid calculation. The student may owe a balance to the University.

Example 9: Student completes winter session and drops below half time during the spring term after the disbursement day but during drop/add:

This student will be paid Pell Grant (assuming the qualify) for the combined winter session and spring term hours enrolled at time of Pell Grant census date (January 13, 2021). If the student was in 6 undergraduate or 5 graduate hours for the combined winter session and spring term on the disbursement date, the student can keep their loan funds.

Top

Is financial help available for purchasing winter session books?

Students registered for the winter session with an estimated credit balance owed back to them after their winter session and spring term charges are paid will have the opportunity to apply for and receive funds not to exceed $300 from the book loan program to help purchase books. The dates that a student can apply for and receive the book loan are November 23rd through December 9th. Send an email to bookloan@saffairs.msstate.edu to request the application beginning November 23rd.

Top

Am I eligible for State Student Financial Aid during the Winter Session?

State financial aid is not available to students enrolled only for winter session. However, a student’s credit hours for winter session will be combined with the spring term credit hours to determine eligibility for State student financial aid. If a student withdraws from a winter session class, those hours will not count towards the required 15 credit hours.

For example, a student has been awarded an MTAG and completes (no W grades) 3 hours for the winter session and is attending 12 credit hours for spring term on the first day of classes,  for a total of 15 credit hours. The 15 credit hours would be used to determine eligibility for the MTAG.

Top

Can I be awarded Federal student aid for winter session only?

Students may be awarded Federal student aid such as Pell Grant and Federal student loans and perhaps Parent Plus and/or Private Alternative student loans for attending the winter session only,  assuming they apply and meet all other eligibility requirements. At the time of disbursement (December 30, 2020), any classes with a W grade will NOT be factored into a student’s financial aid. Also, we will initially disburse aid for any winter session classes where an F grade was earned. However, if the student stopped attending that class before the term was completed, that class would no longer be factored into their Pell Grant award (assuming they qualify) and funds would be taken back. The student may owe a balance to the University.

Top

If I qualify for a Pell Grant, how will it be calculated if I am enrolled in both winter session and spring term?

Enrollment for the winter session and the spring term will be combined to determine enrollment for Pell Grant calculation. Students who wish to receive the full Pell Grant should ensure they complete and are registered in 12 credit hours or more for the combined winter session and spring term on the Pell Census Date (January 13, 2021). Students who withdraw (W grade) or who do not complete a class (stop attending) and receive and F grade for that class for the winter term will not receive Pell Grant for those courses.

For Example: A student attempts 6 hours for the winter session, completing 3 hours and withdrawing from 3 hours. The student is also registered in 6 hours for spring term on the Pell Census Date (January 13). The student would receive Pell Grant for 9 hours or a ¾ Pell Grant for the combined winter session and spring term. To receive the full Pell Grant, the student would need to register for an additional 3 credit hours for Spring term.

In the above example, if the student was already registered in 12 hours for spring term on the Pell census date (January 13), the student would receive a full Pell Grant for the combined winter session and spring term.

Top

When will my aid be disbursed?

Student aid for winter session and spring term will be disbursed to student accounts on December 30, 2020.

Top

If I am a resident of Mississippi and receive state aid, will my winter session enrolled hours count towards my 15 hours needed?

Yes, those hours will count towards your 15 hours for state aid purposes. However, if you drop a class during the winter session those hours will NOT count towards the required 15 hours.

Top

If I am on Probation for SAP Purposes, can I take classes in Winter Session?

Students placed on financial aid probation for fall must have their SAP status reevaluated (after the fall grades have been finalized) before we can  determine their winter session/spring eligibility.  Students who are placed on financial aid probation for spring, are eligible to receive aid for both the winter session and the spring term. 

Top

How am I going to be charged for Winter Session courses?

Winter session classes will be charged separately, per credit hour, from the spring 2021 semester as follows:

Undergraduate*:

In-State                       $370.92 Per credit hour

Out-Of-State               $737.67 Per credit hour

Graduate*:

In-State                       $494.56 Per credit hour

Out-Of- State              $983.56 Per credit hour

*There could be additional charges for lab fees and/or distance ed fees. Please check your student account regularly to review your current outstanding bill. 

Top

When are payments due for the winter session?

Students will see winter session charges appear on their December 15th billing statement for the first time. Payment for all winter session and spring charges are due on January 1, 2021.  Furthermore, students enrolled in a payment plan will see their winter session charges included in their payment plan balance.  

Winter Session charges and Spring Term charges will be reduced by any “pending” financial aid for the spring term. This amount will be the net amount owed or the amount that will be used to figure their monthly payment if they have signed up for the payment plan.

Top

Can I get additional aid for the winter session if I’m already enrolled in 12 or more hours for the spring term?

Generally no,  for full time students enrolled (12 hours or more)  in the Spring semester. The winter session is part of the spring semester for Federal student aid awarding. If a student is registered for 12 hours or more in the spring semester and decides to add a class or two for winter session, Federal student aid, such as Pell and SEOG Grants will not increase and Federal student loans will generally will not increase. Parent Plus loans and/or Alternative Private loans could be available to help pay for winter session classes.

Top

What FAFSA do I need to complete?

Students must complete the 2020-21 FAFSA to be considered for Federal student aid eligibility for Winter Session 2020 and/or Spring semester 2021.

Top

Can I get financial aid for Winter session if I am not attending during the spring 2021 term?

Yes, if you meet all eligibility requirements. Students may be awarded Federal student aid such as Federal grants and Federal student loans and perhaps Parent Plus and/or Private Alternative student loans for attending the winter session only.  Federal Student and Parent Plus loans require half-time enrollment at the time of disbursement (6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 5 credit hours for graduate students).

Top

Can I do federal work-study during the winter session?

Unfortunately, no.

Top

Can a student combine the winter session credit hours and spring semester credit hours to hit the tuition charges cap?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot combine both terms to hit the tuition cap. For example, a student enrolled in on-campus classes during the spring semester will have their tuition charges capped at 12 hours.

Therefore, if this student were to add an additional 3 credit hour course for the spring semester, they would NOT be charged an additional fee. However, if a student is enrolled for 3 for the winter session and 12 hours for the spring semester, they will be charged tuition/fees for 15 hours. You cannot combine the two terms’ credit hours for tuition purposes. The winter session and spring semester are each billed separately.

Top

How will my student loans be affected if I get an F grade during the winter session?

At the time of disbursement (December 30, 2020), as long the student is enrolled in the minimum required credit hours for a student loan (6 hours for undergraduate and 5 for graduate) any F grades received because the student never attended or stopped attending WOULD be factored into the needed credit hours. For example, an undergraduate student is enrolled in 3 credit hours for the winter session and 3 credit hours for the spring semester. The student earns an F grade for the winter session because they either never attended or stopped attending the winter session class. Those credit hours for the F grade WOULD be counted towards the minimum hours needed for a student loan. However, if the student fails to begin attendance in at least one class, the loan disbursement will be canceled. Please keep in mind that this is different for a Pell Grant. If a student earns an F grade because they never attended or stopped attending a winter session class, the Department of Education will NOT let us pay a student their Pell Grant for those hours where an F was earned because the student never attended or stopped attending during the winter session.  

 
Top

Can I combine my winter session and spring semester credit hours to reach the required 12 hours needed for the MSU scholarships?

Yes, as long as your combined winter session and spring semester hours are 12 or more, you will be eligible for the MSU scholarship. However, if you officially drop a winter session class and have a W grade, those credit hours will NOT be factored into your 12 required minimum hours. 

Top