Missouri State University
Office of Student Financial Aid News

Tips for Creating Your FSA ID

In May the U.S. Department of Education (ED) rolled out a new electronic credential system called the “FSA ID.” Students (and parents of dependent students) will use a self-selected username and password instead of sensitive information as before to log in to ED websites and sign legally binding documents electronically such as their FAFSA or promissory note. This new system replaces the federal PIN used prior to May 2015.

If you used your PIN to sign your FAFSA earlier, don’t worry. To make corrections or complete your entrance counseling you will need to create an FSA ID, which should take less than 10 minutes. You can even link your old PIN to your new FSA ID, though this is not required.

Tip 1
At the top of the FAFSA homepage there is a button labeled “FSA ID.” Clicking here will direct you to the middle of a new webpage with information about the new system. If you scroll up on this page you will find the link “Create an FSA ID Now.”

Tip 2
Set up your FSA ID several days in advance of any state or federal deadlines. The ID can take a few days to process once you have applied.

Tip 3
If you forget your password, reset it using your email address if possible. If a user changes their password by answering the three security questions they will be locked out of the system for 30 minutes. Yikes! If you forget your username, however, you can retrieve it instantly by answering your security questions or entering your email address.

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Special Circumstance Updates for 2015-2016

The Office of Student Financial Aid has made updates to the Special Circumstance application for the 2015-2016 aid year. To review the changes, we invite all students to review our new Special Circumstance Guidelines page located on our website! All students who are completing a Special Circumstance application for the 2015-2016 aid year are required to review our new guidelines before completing the application.


We are hoping this new update to our website will help inform all students on the new application for the 2015-2016 academic aid year. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions, or need help locating the new page.

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State-Based Financial Aid Deadline


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, submission deadline for State grant and scholarship funding is almost here! Be sure to have your 2015-2016 FAFSA on file by April 1, 2015 to be considered for programs like the Access Missouri Grant, the Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship, an many more! Complete or renew your FAFSA online today!

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2015-2016 FAFSA Deadlines

Deadline PicThe 2015-2016 academic year will be here in the blink of an eye which means it’s time to start planning. You need to start asking yourself questions like: What classes do you need to take? Who won’t drive you crazy as a roommate? But most importantly, how are you going to pay for school?! Well, unless you’ve recently won the lottery paying for school means you should apply for Financial Aid.

As you’ve probably heard, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is your online application for all Federal Student Aid programs, most university scholarships, and the state Access Missouri grant, and is available for completion NOW. The FAFSA needs to be completed every year so if you completed one for 2014-2015 you will still need to complete another one for 2015-2016.  It’s important that you not only complete the FAFSA every year, but that you also get it submitted by certain deadlines.

What are these deadlines, you may ask? Well, the 2015-2016 FAFSA deadline is June 30, 2016. HOWEVER, if you want to be considered for ALL the aid programs available you need to have your FAFSA submitted by March 31, 2015. This gets your application in before the Federal, State, and Missouri State deadlines.

Even though you will be eligible for the Federal Pell grant and Direct Student loans by meeting the June 30, 2016 deadline you will miss out on eligibility for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant, the Perkins loan, and the College Work Study program by not meeting the March 31 priority deadline.  For Missouri residents, the deadline for the Access Missouri Grant is April 1. So remember, get your FAFSA completed by March 31, 2015 to maximize your Financial Aid Award Letter…unless you won the lottery!

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Leaders in Community Service

The MSU Leaders in Community Service Program (LCS) is seeking selective students who have a strong interest in community service and are looking for an alternative to student loans or want to earn additional money while attending MSU.  LCS is a student organization that allows MSU work study students to work for non-for-profit organizations an average of 10-12 hours per week while being paid an hourly wage of $9.00. LCS members are paid by Missouri State through the Federal Work Study program.

If you are work-study eligible or have received a Pell grant, you may qualify for a position on our team!  Members must have 24 completed credit hours and a minimum of a 2.5 GPA to qualify.

An informational recruitment meeting will be held March 30th from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in PSU 317.

Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year are being accepted through April 8th.

To learn more about this elite program and to print an application form, visit our website at http://organizations.missouristate.edu/lcs.  Your completed application can be submitted to the Student Employment office located at 113 Blair-Shannon Residence Hall, emailed to lcs@missouristate.edu, or faxed to 417-836-7608.

Membership selections are competitive, so we encourage you to apply now!

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2015-2016 FAFSA

Just a reminder to all our current and prospective students that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the 2015-2016 Academic Year is now available. Be sure to head over to https://fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete your FAFSA before our March 31, 2015 priority processing deadline!
Also, if you have any questions or problems completing your FAFSA, feel free to contact our office or consider coming to our FREE FAFSA FRENZY event on March 1 at Parkview High School from 2:00-4:00pm!

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Financial Aid Myths and Facts

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is dispelling commons myths about financial aid award packages. April is also the month when most higher education institutions send their award letters for fall enrollment, so test your college-cost savvy with these myths and facts:

Myth or Fact? It’s all free money.

Myth. Any money that helps you pay for college – whether grants, loans, or work-study – is considered part of your financial aid award. While some financial aid like Pell Grants only requires students to maintain certain attendance and academic standards, other programs carry additional requirements. Work-study awards must be earned through employment (usually 20 hours per week or less), and loans will need to repaid after students leave college.

Myth or Fact? If I borrow $20,000 in student loans, I’ll have to repay $20,000.

Myth. Loans generally will cost a borrower more in the long run than he or she receives up front. Some student loans accrue interest while borrowers are completing their degrees, increasing the total owed after college. After a student leaves school, interest will continue to accrue until the loan debt is paid in full or forgiven.

Myth or Fact? Students must take the loan amounts offered in their awards.

Myth. Students are not required to take all of the loans offered them. Calculate your true cost of college, rather than the school estimate in your aid award, and then work backwards to find the minimum amount you’ll need to borrow to get an education. Work with your institution’s financial aid administrators to determine what the right loan amount is for you.

Myth or Fact? Financial aid awards contain all the money available to help pay for college.

Myth. Students can continue to search and apply for outside scholarships after they receive their financial aid awards. In fact, they can apply for scholarships throughout their entire college careers! Families can also look to credit unions and private lenders to borrow private student loans, though private loans are only recommended after eligibility for federal student loans is exhausted.

Myth or Fact? Financial aid professionals are available to answer questions about paying for college.

Fact! Students and parents should feel comfortable asking questions of an institution’s financial aid administrators, even if they’re not sure whether they will ultimately enroll at that institution. Financial aid administrators want to help any prospective, current, and former students and their parents better understand college costs and make well-informed decisions for their college careers and futures.

The original NASFAA post can be found online at www.NASFAA.org.

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Don’t Let FAFSA Mistakes Steal Your Money!

As you all know, it’s currently “open season” for all students attending school in 2014-2015 to fill out their FAFSAs. Hopefully we can all agree that between assistance from FAFSA.gov and your local Financial Aid Office the actual act of completing the FAFSA isn’t too bad (if you do have problems call us or stop by our offices!). However, did you know that clicking “Submit” at the end of your FAFSA is NOT the end of the process?

After submitting your FAFSA you will be sent a Student Aid Report, or SAR for short, which is a paper or electronic document that gives you a basic summary of your financial aid eligibility as well as listings of your answers to the various FAFSA questions. If you submitted an email address on your FAFSA the SAR will be emailed to you. If you didn’t, it’ll be mailed to your permanent address.

So what should you do with this so called SAR? Well, we recommend that you review it very carefully to make sure everything is correct and complete. Just imagine not getting any grant money or Subsidized Stafford loans because you answered that you or your parents earned $300,000 in 2013 instead of $30,000…that would be pretty horrible, right?!? While we find and correct mistakes like that all the time, unfortunately we can’t catch and correct all of them! So read the SAR carefully and make sure there aren’t any errors or omissions!

If you do find a mistake or two you will want to correct or update your FAFSA pronto! If you encounter problems you can contact the FAFSA office via their website or contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Remember, it’s YOUR financial aid… don’t let an oversight or a reporting mistake steal it from you!  Make sure it’s correct!


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FAFSA Deadlines

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2014-2015 academic year has been available since January 1, 2014. Have you submitted yours yet? If the answer to that question is no you might want to consider getting your FAFSA done sooner rather than later. We have some important deadlines coming-up and you will definitely want to have your FAFSA done before they pass!

The first deadline to be aware of is the MSU Office of Financial Aid Priority Processing Deadline which is March 31, 2014. This deadline is used to determine your eligibility for campus-based financial aid awards, processing order, and other important things.

The second deadline to be aware of is the State of Missouri FAFSA Deadline which is April 1, 2014. If you don’t have your FAFSA submitted by this deadline you won’t be eligible for state-based financial aid awards like the Access Missouri Grant and the Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship.

Remember, it’s better to have your 2013 taxes filed before completing the 2014-2015 FAFSA but it’s not requiredStudents and their parents can complete the FAFSA by entering their tax status as “Will File” and use their forms (such as W-2’s and 1099’s) to project what their 2013 tax information will be. Once you have filed you can then go back onto your FAFSA and update your tax information. You’ll never lose your initial FAFSA submission date no matter how many times you resubmit your form!

If you have questions stop by our office, shoot us an email, or give us a call!

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