It's important for students and families to understand the types of resources available for funding a college education. As important, students need to know the timeline for applying in order to get the most scholarships and financial aid.
The four sources of financial aid are private scholarships, money that comes directly from the college or university, federal aid, and state aid. Most students get money from all sources and deadlines are very important. The FAFSA is required for federal student aid.
The FAFSA results may also be used for private scholarships, money that comes directly from the college or university and also for state financial aid, all with different deadlines.
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid (MOSFA) offers scholarships and grants based on merit and ﬁnancial need to full-time (15 credit hours per semester) students attending eligible Mississippi colleges and universities. The application is available at www.mississippi.edu/financialaid or you can link to the Mississippi application after completing the FAFSA and most of your info will be prefilled.
Applications open October 1 and should be completed by March 31 (the HELP grant deadline). For official information, eligibility requirements, and deadlines, please refer to the State Aid website: www.mississippi.edu/financialaid.
Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG):
Covers up to $500/year for freshman and sophomores and up to $1000/year for juniors and seniors. Eligibility criteria:
- Has a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and a minimum of 15 on the national ACT or equivalent score on the national SAT
- Is not full PELL Grant eligible
- Deadline: September 15
Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
Covers up to $2500/year, but may not exceed tuition and required fees at attending institution. Initial eligibility for the student who:
- Achieves a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5
- Scores a minimum of 29 on the national ACT or equivalent score on the national SAT or is a National Merit/National Achievement Finalist or Semi-Finalist
- Deadline: September 15
HELP Grant (Higher Education Legislative Plan) Grant
Covers tuition and fees for no more than 8 semesters at a public institution. Participants attending a private institution in Mississippi will receive an award amount equal to the award of a student attending the nearest comparable Mississippi public institution. More information about program eligibility here.
- Scores a minimum of 20 on the National ACT
- Completes a specific high school course curriculum
- Meets income requirements
- Deadline: March 31