Terms & Conditions for Financial Aid Eligibility

To apply for federal, state, and Mizzou need-based student financial aid programs a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually by priority deadlines to be considered for the maximum amount of financial aid each academic year. A student has the right to decline all, or a portion of, any financial aid offered. By accepting financial aid awards, the student agrees to comply with the terms and conditions as outlined in Mizzou Student Financial Aid information.

This information is subject to change at any time as a result of action(s) by the federal and/or state governments, the University of Missouri or the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri System. Questions concerning the content of the of the terms and conditions information should be directed to Mizzou Student Financial Aid.

Many of your questions about your financial aid offer notification and critical next steps are outlined Financial Aid Offer Guide. We encourage you to read this guide, and complete tasks as soon as possible.

You may use your financial aid funds only for educational expenses incurred at Mizzou for the applicable academic year period of enrollment. Financial aid in a future term will go back and pay past due balances within the same academic year.

We apply (i.e., disburse) aid directly to charges on your Mizzou student bill including tuition, fees, housing, and other charges. Excess funds greater than your charges are called a “credit balance” and are sent to you in the form of a “refund”. Any subsequent charges after that refund are your responsibility to monitor and pay.

Visit the refunds section on our Cashiers Office website to learn more about how to receive your refund. We strongly encourage you to set up direct deposit to receive your refund as quickly as possible. Paper checks that need to be mailed can take significantly longer to receive.

If you received an automatic or competitive scholarship at the time of admission, you are required to maintain specific criteria each year to stay eligible. It is your responsibility to review the criteria outlined on our scholarships page to maintain your eligibility.

Mizzou Land Grant – It is very important that you must complete your FAFSA annually by the priority deadline. Other eligibility criteria that must be maintained are outlined on our Mizzou Land Grant webpage.

MU Grant – It is very important that you must complete your FAFSA annually by the priority deadline. Your eligibility for the MU Grant is determined at the time of admission, and will automatically be renewed if you continue to meet eligibility criteria as outlined on our MU Grant webpage.

How need is calculated:
Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Student Aid Index (SAI).

How unmet need is calculated:
Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Student Aid Index (SAI) minus gift aid.

For more information, see our Financial Aid Offer Guide page.

A student must remain within their total Cost of Attendance (COA) per Federal regulations. Upon notice or receipt of additional financial aid sources, the Student Financial Aid office reviews the student financial aid package to determine if any changes are required.

A student’s COA is initially based upon the assumption of full-time enrollment for the fall and spring terms. If a student does not enroll full time, or drops courses, their COA will have to be reduced, and as a result financial aid may also have to be canceled or reduced. Depending on when these changes occur, this can cause a student to owe a bill for repayment of aid and/or unpaid charges.

If there is a change to your financial aid eligibility, you will receive an email with a notice of a revised financial aid notice.

What should I do if I receive a private scholarship?

View our steps on reporting additional private scholarships. A student must remain within their total Cost of Attendance (COA), so upon notice of a private scholarship, our office reviews the student financial aid award to determine if any changes are required.

If there is a change to your financial aid eligibility, you will receive an email with a notice of a revised financial aid notice.

Students enrolled at more than one institution concurrently may not receive financial aid from both institutions unless they have completed a pre-approved consortium agreement.

Financial aid awards are based on the assumption of full-time enrollment in a degree-seeking program every semester. To be eligible for aid, students must meet minimum enrollment requirements. Enrollment is verified each semester prior to disbursement of funds and at the end of the add/change period.

A change of enrollment status could result in a delayed disbursement and a revision of the financial aid package. To remain eligible for federal financial aid, students must also attend ALL registered classes at least once during the semester.

Visit our Enrollment Requirements page for definitions of enrollment by student type.

Enrolling in courses is not enough to secure your financial aid. You must also attend the courses in which you enroll. The Student Financial Aid office is required to verify that students who receive a non-passing grade, in any class, actually began attending the class. If you receive a non-passing grade in a course or no grade is reported, we will follow up to determine whether you attended.

Failure to attend can be expensive: your aid could be reduced retroactively, and you could be required to repay aid you have received. If you have any questions about your enrollment and eligibility for financial aid, please contact us.

Will dropping classes affect my aid financial aid?

Yes, dropping classes could result in the delayed disbursement, a reduction or cancellation of financial aid. If you plan to attend part-time in a term, please contact the Student Financial Aid office to let us know prior to the term starting.

We monitor enrollment levels each term. We recommend that you speak to the Student Financial Aid office before deciding to drop a class to determine if any aid adjustments are necessary.

Changes in financial aid will be determined based on the timeframe of when you drop a class and how many credit hours you remain enrolled. Any time your enrollment changes, our office must reevaluate your financial aid eligibility, which could result in billing due to a reduction or cancellation of aid.

For a more detailed explanation on dropping courses and completing withdrawing from Mizzou visit our page on Enrollment Changes.

You should also review the Fee Reassessment Schedule under the Tuition and Fees drop-down menu on the Cashiers Office website to be sure you are aware of how you will be billed based on the timing of any course withdrawals.

If there is a change to your financial aid eligibility, you will receive an email with a notice of a revised financial aid notice.

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree. Federal regulations require the Student Financial Aid office to monitor the progress of each student toward their degree completion. Students who fall behind in their coursework or who fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state, university aid as well as some private aid programs.

Check out our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) page to learn more.

Taking self-paced Coursework can impact the amount and timing of when you can receive your financial aid. Visit our Online Classes page to learn more about the aid eligibility differences association with taking self-paced coursework.

Missouri Online provides an online experience for students from the University of Missouri System campuses. However, it is important to note that all four campuses are separate entities for enrolling, billing and financial aid eligibility. Students who will be enrolling in classes at multiple University of Missouri System Campuses must consult with their “home” school’s financial aid office well in advance of starting classes to see aid eligibility options through a consortium agreement process.

Not all scholarships and grants will apply toward classes being taken at another University of Missouri System Campus, and if you are not enrolled full time at your host institution. You will also incur bills for courses you are enrolled at each institution and are responsible for ensuring payment. Campuses do not pay each other for your enrollment on your behalf.

Requirements to establish Missouri residency are outlined on the Office of the University Registrar’s website.

Benefits of gaining Missouri Residency:

  • Missouri residents pay a lower tuition rate than nonresidents.
  • Scholarships and grants do not apply in the summer, and the lower tuition rate would apply in case you need or want to take a summer course.
  • Scholarships and grants have a maximum timeframe that you can receive them, and the lower tuition rate would apply to additional academic years should you want or need them.

IMPORTANT NOTES on impacts to aid eligibility when establishing residency:

Nonresident students who gain residency that have received an automatic or competitive scholarship at the time of Admission will no longer be eligible for any type of automatic or competitive scholarship. Nonresident automatic or competitive scholarship are designed to help nonresident students with the nonresident portion of tuition charges based upon their residency status at the time of Admission. When a student gains residency they no longer have these charges, and they do not then become eligible for a resident automatic or competitive scholarship when residency is gained.

Nonresident students who gain residency that have a need-based MU Grant will also have their award amount eligibility reviewed and it will be reduced due to the overall charges and the Cost of Attendance being reduced and that reduces a student’s need calculation.

Nonresident students who gain residency do not become eligible for the Mizzou Land Grant. This need-based grant is based on your residency at the time of Admission.

While some financial aid programs may be reduced or canceled because of gaining residency, the changes in aid will not cause a student to owe more than they would have staying a nonresident, and then you have the benefits that scholarships and grants don’t provide as outlined above for summer and extra years of education.

For more information about financial aid eligibility for study abroad programs please visit our study abroad page.

Students who are enrolled in combined Bachelor/Master degree programs designed specifically to grant both a BA/BS and MA/MS within a five-year time period should discuss financial aid eligibility with the Student Financial Aid office. Eligibility for undergraduate aid varies in the third and fourth years of these programs and is based upon both the type of coursework for which you will be enrolled and how that coursework will be counted. Students in the fifth year of these programs are always considered to be graduate students and will be packaged with graduate-level assistance.

Undergraduate students who have received one bachelor’s degree and are pursuing a second degree in another program will only be eligible for loans. However, a student enrolled in an approved dual-degree program or who is a double major may qualify for all types of aid.

For federal, state of Missouri, and Mizzou need-based aid eligibility, a student must be a U.S. citizen or “eligible” non-citizen.

For a non-citizen to be eligible for financial aid consideration, the student must possess a valid Alien Registration Card I-551 or I-151, be classified as a conditional permanent resident with a valid I-151C Registration Card, or have a passport or I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) showing one of the following designations:

  • Refugee
  • Asylum Granted
  • Indefinite parole and/or Humanitarian Parole
  • Cuban-Haitian Entrant

If you have any questions concerning your citizenship status, contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Missouri House Bill 390 (HB390) requires that institutions of higher education verify that individuals receiving “a public benefit under which payments, assistance, credits or reduced rates or fees are provided” are lawfully present in the United States. The University of Missouri is currently verifying that all students over the age of 18, who are physically present and attend classes on any of our four campuses and receive any form of postsecondary education public benefit, are either a United States citizen, a permanent resident, or are lawfully present in the United States.

Postsecondary education public benefit is defined as including (1) institutional financial aid awarded by a public college or university and (2) state-administered grants and scholarships awarded by any postsecondary higher education institution.

For the complete text of House Bill 390, please visit the Missouri House of Representatives website. Learn more from Mizzou on HB390 here.

You must not be in default on any federal loans or owe any refunds on federal grants from post-secondary institutions.

Federal regulations impact how financial aid can be used for classes taken more than once.

You CAN receive financial aid:

  • To repeat a course that has already been passed (D- or higher) only one additional time. Any repeated attempts after that will not be eligible for financial aid. Note that this applies even if you earn a failing grade (F).
  • As many times as necessary to repeat a course in which the only previous grade earned has been a failing grade (F).
  • If a passing grade has been earned for certain repeat courses because of different subject content being studied in each term.

All courses previously taken, even if financial aid was not used, are compared against the current semester to determine if it is a repeated class and whether it can be paid for using financial aid. Your financial aid may be recalculated if you take a class that is not eligible for financial aid. This policy does not provide exceptions if the repeat courses are taken to meet the plan of study grade requirements, i.e., a grade of C or higher must be earned to count towards your major.

Verification is a process for which the Student Financial Aid office must conduct to comply with federal regulations. Mizzou is required to verify the information provided on the FAFSA using tax transcripts or returns and other documents to ensure that students receive accurate financial aid awards. If selected for verification, our office will request the information required to complete the FAFSA verification process. Students should not presume their financial aid offer notifications are final until this process has been completed.

Find more information on verification at Mizzou here.

The Student Financial Aid office calculates an estimated Cost of Attendance (COA), or budget, for financial aid applicants based on federal guidelines. Financial aid is awarded up to the COA but cannot exceed it. The COA includes direct and indirect educationally related expenses. Note that tuition and fee amounts may vary based on the enrolled program.

Please keep in mind that the COA only accounts for the months in which you are enrolled. For instance, if you only enroll in classes for the fall semester, your COA would be cut in half. If your eligible educationally related expenses exceed these estimated costs, you should contact the Student Financial Aid office to see to receive the appeal form and instructions. It may be possible to increase your COA and thus increase the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive by completing the Cost of Attendance (COA) Increase Request Form.

When the FAFSA does not accurately reflect a family’s financial status, a Special Circumstance appeal may be used. Our office can evaluate your circumstance to determine if an adjustment to the FAFSA income could affect the type or amount of financial aid that is available. Documentation is required for all Special Circumstance appeals.

Find more information on eligibility and completing a special circumstance appeal here.

Important Dates

For the 2024-2025 academic year

Dec. 1, 2023 - Scholarship deadline for first-time college students

Feb. 1, 2024 - Scholarship deadline for current & transfer students

March 1, 2024 - MU's recommended FAFSA priority submission date

Apr. 1, 2024 - FAFSA submission deadline

More dates