Missouri State University
Office of Student Financial Aid News


scam_alert5 Students are being targeted by companies trying to profit from the current changes in Washington. Don’t fall for it.


Recently, a third-party debt relief company, claiming to be the Department of Education, has been leaving voicemail messages for student borrowers claiming that they must act immediately to qualify for student loan forgiveness before the program is eliminated. A transcript of the voicemail follows:


“This message is from the Department of Education. In regards to Donald Trump becoming President, all programs for student loan forgiveness will be stopped immediately as soon as he takes office in January. In order for you to qualify, you must apply within the next 24 hours or you will not be able to have your student loan payment reduced. Please contact us at 888.307.0680. The number again is 888.307.3680. Once again you must get enrolled within the next 24 hours.”


If you received a call like this, it is a scam. The actual Department of Education offers several options to help Repay (or in limited cases, forgive), your federal student loans. You may also consider grouping multiple loans into one larger one through a process called “Consolidation,” although this may not be ideal for everyone. But the Department of Education does not call to initiate these processes.

~The Office of Student Financial Aid

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School Cost Got You Down?

krabs-loves-money-5We get it. But maybe you could end up paying less next year?

Admitted students have until March 1st to complete this General and Department Scholarship Application for 2017-2018 Foundation scholarships. It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergrad or graduate, in-state or out-of-state. It’s free to apply, and you just need access to your My.MissouriState account first.

On average, about 1 in 4 students who apply receive some type of foundation scholarship, and last year we awarded approximately 1,200 of them! The average scholarship is about $1,000, and students are notified in June if they are selected.


And for once, you don’t have to complete a FAFSA to apply for these scholarships.

As always, we’re here for you. Call us at (417) 836-5262, Tweet @MSU_FinAid, or send your questions to FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu

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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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