Missouri State Students Receive Additional Financial Aid In October


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Students could receive additional help next month from Missouri State University (MSU).

Universities have seen an increase in the number of students applying for financial aid. At Missouri State University, about two-thirds of students receive financial aid.

“Your traditional students right out of high school, they have fewer family resources to help pay for their education,” said director of financial aid Rob Moore. “Our non-traditional students with lost income and job loss still have to pay for child care and other expenses.”

The university anticipates an increase in the number of students applying for special circumstances exams.

“[Special Circumstance reviews] This is where we take into consideration some financial numbers or economic hardships that are not reflected in the FAFSA, such as if a parent loses income or a family member’s job, or high medical bills, Moore said. “We’re actually doing some outreach as part of the emergency student aid fund requirements to let them know this is an opportunity for them. We can move on to the FAFSA and bring these changes to help them qualify for additional need-based assistance. “

MSU received $ 22.6 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Board of Governors executive committee has approved plans to distribute this money to the Springfield and West Plains campuses. Springfield will receive $ 20.8 million. The Western Plains will receive $ 1.8 million.

There are three grant levels students will fall into. Students must be enrolled in at least one credit hour and seek a degree. Students who receive the Federal Pell Grant will receive $ 1,500 to $ 1,600.

“About a third of our undergraduate student body is eligible for the Federal Pell Grant,” Moore said. “This indicates that about a third of our students are classified as having high financial need. These are students who depend on financial aid through federal, state, and institutional programs to help pay for their education. “

Students who are not eligible for the Pell scholarship will receive $ 1,000. International students will receive $ 750. The only students who need to complete an application to receive the scholarship are international students.

“We are required to certify that [international students] have financial need, ”Moore said. “It’s part of the federal regulations. This is why for international students there is an application and required component so that we can certify and meet these obligations, so that we stay within the limits of what the Ministry of Education expects.

Students can choose to get the money as a reimbursement or to spend it on college expenses. The big change with these grants is the overall eligibility of those who can get them.

“This latest iteration under the American Rescue Plan Act is that the pool of eligible students has previously been expanded,” Moore said. “Under the Cares Act and CRRSAA, students had to have been or could have been eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Basically, they had a FAFSA on file, or they could have filed a FAFSA. Now it’s open to anyone enrolled in an institution, which makes it easier for us to process and get the money out, but it also expands the pool of eligible beneficiaries.

Being eligible for the scholarship without having to apply came as a shock to the students.

“My parents are having a lot of trouble especially with COVID and trying to make ends meet. With the stimulus, it’s really going to help, ”said second student Sarah Hinkson.

But, the extra money can go a long way.

“I know a lot of people do multiple jobs just to pay their tuition,” Sophomore Trancy Clark said. “Fortunately, I’m thankful that I only have one job to do, but it can be just as stressful trying to complete tasks while working. “

MSU will finish gathering the number of eligible students at the end of this month. The university is looking to distribute the grant money in October.

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