Step 3 - Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I provide an email address on my application?
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid uses your email address to communicate to you regarding your financial aid. Without a valid email address, you could be delaying your award notification by up to 2 weeks.
Why do I need to send a copy of my parent's (dependent student) State of Mississippi Tax Return for the current tax filing year?
The majority of our state scholarships require proof of Mississippi residency. The parent's State of Mississippi Tax Return has been designated as one of the documents to prove residency.
When should I hear something regarding my eligibility?
For students with a complete file, awarding begins in mid-June after all springs grades have been received. If your application file becomes complete after mid-June, you will be notified within 2 weeks of completing your file.
I will be a senior in high school beginning in the fall. What is the earliest date I may apply for state aid?
The earliest you may apply for state aid is January 1 of your senior high school year.
I am only taking three hours this summer am I eligible for state aid?
No. All undergraduate scholarships are for fall and spring terms only.
I am a graduate student are there any state aid programs available to me?
Yes, if you are working on a master's degree in education and certain healthcare professional areas, you may qualify for one of our loan/scholarship programs.
Will I be assigned a PIN (Personal Identification Number)?
Yes, you will be assigned a PIN within five (5) days of making application either in an email notification or by mail if you did not provide an email address when you applied.
What if I forget my PIN?
If you lost or have forgotten your PIN, you will need to request it again. If you provided an email address at the time you made application, you may go to our website and click on "Forgot PIN" and we will email you your PIN. If you did not provide an email on your application, please contact our office and we will mail you the number.
Is my FAFSA PIN the same as my state PIN?
No. The FAFSA PIN is assigned by the federal processing center, and your state PIN is assigned by the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid.
What documents will I need for determining Mississippi residency?
At a minimum you will be required to provide 2 of the following 3 documents-a photo copy of a parent's (if dependent) valid Mississippi Driver License (if not provided at the time of completing the on-line application), a signed copy of pages 1 & 2 of the current Mississippi tax return, or the results from filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
I completed the FAFSA as one of my residency documents, but because of my family situation I am unable to provide 1 of the other 2 documents. What should I do?
Given your unique situation you should contact our office so that we may discuss other options available to you.
Should I complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive state aid?
The Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP) is the only program we administer which requires the applicant to complete the FAFSA.
I received state aid last year do I have to reapply each year?
Yes. A renewal application is required each year.
I am not a graduate student, but I am going back to work on a second bachelors degree in education. Are there any programs available to me?
Yes. You may be eligible for the William Winter Teacher Loan/Scholarship or the Critical Needs Teacher Loan/Scholarship. You will not be eligible for any other state aid programs.
Is state aid available during the summer?
The only programs available during the summer are the Summer Developmental Program Grant and the Graduate Teacher Loan/Scholarship Programs.
I plan to attend a school out of state. Am I still eligible for state aid?
All scholarships except for programs leading to a degree in Chiropractic Medicine, Optometry and Osteopathic Medicine require the recipient to attend an eligible in-state Mississippi institution.
I have already applied for FASFA application. Is there a separate application for state aid?
Yes. To be considered for state aid you must complete the on-line application available on our web site. There is a single application for all programs with the exception of the Nissan Scholarship and the Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment program.
What are the deadline dates for applying for state aid?
The deadline date for applying for the Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant and the Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant is September 15. For our loan/scholarship programs the deadline date is March 31.
I have reviewed my state aid award which shows I have been offered state aid this semester. Classes have started but I don't have my state aid yet? Is something wrong?
Probably not. While some schools coordinate the disbursement of all types of aid, other schools disburse them on different dates. A school must verify certain eligibility information for each student that received state financial aid. Because of this, many schools prefer to wait until after the add/drop period so they can accurately determine the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled, as well as other information that may affect the student's award. However, if more time passes and you still have not heard anything you should contact the state aid office.
We are going to need a lot of student financial aid to be able to pay for my college, and I am hoping I will be eligible for state aid. What should I do to maximize my chance of getting aid from the state?
Applying early and submitting the required documents as soon as possible are to your advantage since some scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
What if I have to withdraw from school during a semester?
A student must maintain continuous full-time enrollment of not less than two semesters or three trimesters in each successive academic year unless granted an exception for cause. Examples of exception for cause may include personal injury or death of an immediate family member, participation in a cooperative program, internship program or foreign study program. If a recipient fails to maintain continuous full-time enrollment, unless granted an exception for cause, that student is ineligible to receive funds during the next semester or trimester of full-time enrollment of a regular academic year. Summer semester enrollment is not consider part of reqular academic year.
What if I drop below full-time enrollment during a semester?
A student must maintain full-time enrollment. If a student drops below full-time status during a semester or trimester of the academic year, that student is ineligible to receive funds during the next semester or trimester of full-time enrollment of a regular academic year.
Should I complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to receive state aid?
The Higher Education Legislative Plan (HELP) is the only program we administer which requires the applicant to complete the FAFSA.