Missouri State University
Office of Student Financial Aid News

Changes to the FAFSA: What you need to know

As the 2017-2018 school year approaches, students and their families need to know about changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is important for a few reasons, as it’s a pathway to receiving several forms of financial aid including grants, loans and work study. More information is available from the office of financial aid. Here’s a rundown of what’s new.

Submit your application soonerStudents at Welcome Weekend

Students can file a 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016. This is a permanent change and will allow students to complete their applications before the start of the new year.

Sending income information is easier

Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and families will report their 2015 income information. This is a switch from the past, when the application required financial information from the previous year. That means most income information should not change from students’ 2016-2017 FAFSA.

The most important part is to file as early as possible, as priority deadlines for state-funded programs such as the Access Missouri grant is now Feb. 1, 2017 and Missouri State’s deadline for limited-availability funding was pushed up to match.

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Working Hard or Hardly Working?

12208430433_55abd2203f_qDo you receive the Federal Pell Grant? Are you looking for additional funding to help pay for expenses? Do you want to work on campus? If you answered yes to these questions Work-Study could be the right fit for you! Stop by the Office of Student Employment in Shannon 113 to add your name to the Work-Study waiting list! As funds become available we’ll award them to eligible candidates based on the date they signed-up.

So what are you waiting for? Go to work and get paid!

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Fall 2016 Disbursements

CoinsJust a reminder that Fall 2016 financial aid funds will be disbursed on Monday, August 29th. Be sure to review your account and contact us if you have any questions.

If you are a recipient of the Access Missouri Grant, remember that those funds don’t disburse until mid- to late-September.

After disbursements we anticipate refunds to be issues within the first few days of September.

Have a great semester! — Your OSFA

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Let’s Talk About Your Bill

You received a bill from the University, and you are probably wondering why your financial aid isn’t on it. Don’t worry.

If you are receiving financial aid, your aid will not pay toward this balance until August 29th at the very earliest. That’s IF you have turned in all of your paperwork and completed your entrance counseling/Master Promissory Note. Even though your financial aid pays after the balance is due on the 25th you will not be charged finance charges (1% of the unpaid balance) until September 6th. Most financial aid will apply indiscriminately toward your overall balance, even though you may have been charged for a variety of things. You can think of your bill as a mount of Earth, and your financial aid like shovels carrying it away in no particular order.


How much will you owe after financial aid pays on August 29th?

In general, you can divide all of the financial aid that you see on your award letter in half, since most aid will pay 50/50 between the Fall and Spring, and then subtract that from that bill you received. The resulting number is roughly what you will need to pay out-of-pocket for the Fall semester, hopefully by August 25th. You can also defer this amount.


Exceptions to the rules

Bright Flight and Access Missouri may not pay toward your account until early October. If able, you can pay these amounts up front to avoid the 1% finance charge, then let the grant come directly to your bank account when they DO pay out in October.

A small percentage of each federal loan amount that you borrow (Stafford Direct, Graduate PLUS, and Parent PLUS) will actually go back to the federal government, not toward your bill. This is about 1% of the total student loan borrowed, and about 4.5% of the total parent PLUS loans borrowed. This “loan origination fee” will not help pay your balance, so please plan accordingly.

As always, if you have any questions about your award letter please call the Office of Student Financial Aid at 1-800-283-4243 or (417) 836-5262. If you have questions about the billing process please contact Financial Services.


See you soon!

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It’s Baaaaaaack!!!

The IRS just made many people’s lives a little bit easier. You don’t read that every day.

The ability to download your tax transcript is once again an available on IRS.gov. For many students and parents this means no more waiting for a transcript to be mailed, no more trips to the IRS office, and no more paper tax forms. Best of all, your financial aid can be finalized quicker.

16c2ccThe new request system uses far more security measures than the old system that was breached in early 2015. In exchange for amped up security there is one possible drawback: Anyone requesting a transcript must have a cell phone number directly linked to their name. In other words, the name of the tax filer requesting their transcript must be the primary account holder of a phone plan, and anyone who is not the primary account holder of the phone plan may not be eligible for this IRS tool. To students this means that if you are on your parents’ cell phone plan you may not be able to request a transcript online.

If you are successful in accessing your transcripts you will see different types available, and they all show different information so it is critical that you download the right one. The only transcript we can use for financial aid purposes is the “Tax Return Transcript,” NOT the Account transcript or Account Summary. If we are requesting your W-2s or a 1099, a Wage & Income Transcript will have all of those listed and can be used to verify individual sources of income.

Our office understands the frustration not having this online feature has caused in the past year. I’m not sure who is more thrilled that it’s back, you or us.


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Alternative/Private Loan Policy Reminder

If you owe a past balance to the institution that is preventing you from registering for current/future terms or is preventing you from receiving copies of your transcripts a Retroactive Alternative Loan may be something to consider. Some lenders allow loans to be certified up-to 365 calendar days from the last day of enrollment in order to pay past-due balances. To qualify for retroactive loans borrowers must meet all the following criteria:

  • Have completed at least half-time hours in current grade level courses during the term for which the loan request is submitted.
  • Have a past-due balance with the university originating from the term for which the loan request is submitted.
  • Meet general loan requirements as established by specific lenders.

If a retroactive loan may be something you are considering, our Preferred Lender List is a great place to start researching your options! This list, as well as other useful information, can be found on the Financial Aid page HERE.

Keep in mind that we will only be able to certify loan requests if a student meets the eligibility criteria listed above. Additionally, loan funds can only be certified for the amount owed to the institution for the term in question. We will not certify requests greater than what is owed, with the intent of receiving refund monies for other living expenses.

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Summer’s (almost) Here…

…And the time is right for Summer financial aid!


You may be eligible for financial aid if any of the following apply:

  • You have not received your entire yearly loans
  • You have not received your entire yearly Pell Grant (if eligible for Pell)
  • You were enrolled less than full-time one semester, or withdrew
  • After the Spring semester you will have passed the 30 earned credit-hours or the 60 earned credit-hours mark
  • You are a new college student this Summer


How it works…shutterstock_95396464

Once you are enrolled for the Summer term and are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress we will automatically review your eligibility. If you are offered additional financial aid you will receive an email, and the changes can be viewed on your My.MissouriState account. You will need to accept or decline your loans there.

And nope, don’t worry about filing an Adjustment to Direct Loan Request form unless you declined ALL of your loans this year.


What not to expect…

  • State grants and scholarships like Access Missouri & Bright Flight
  • MSU scholarships like the Dean’s Scholarship or Multicultural Leadership Award


What you can expect if you are eligible…

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans
  • Federal Pell Grant


Be patient. There are lots of other students taking summer classes too. If you think you are eligible for Summer financial aid but haven’t received an award by June 1st, call us or send an email to FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu.

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Scholarship Deadline

Hungry Piggy BankIs your piggy bank getting a little skinny? Are you borrowing more money from your parents, your grandparents, or your Uncle Sam than you would like? Then you should definitely complete the MSU
General and Departmental Scholarship Application
for the 2016-2017 Academic Year! It’s faster and easier than you might think and totally worth your time!

Who is eligible to apply?

New and currently enrolled students who demonstrate qualifications such as,m but not limited to, outstanding academic achievement, leadership involvement, and financial need.

When is the deadline?

March 1, 2016.

What types of scholarships are available?

All kinds! Look for yourself here.
So why wait? Complete the application today and feed your piggy!

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