General Eligibility Questions
How do I apply for financial aid?
You should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
My family is not considered to be low income. Should I bother applying for financial aid?
Yes. The FAFSA is the application not only for need-based grants such as the Pell and the SEOG, which target low-income students, but also for loans and Federal Work Study assistance, for which students with higher incomes may qualify.
Can I receive more in financial aid than what I owe in tuition?
Yes. The total amount of your financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, employment) cannot exceed the total cost of attending UMSL for the year. That cost, however, includes both actual university charges and other estimated indirect costs of attending school (supplies, rent for off-campus housing, food and transportation).
When should I file the FAFSA?
You can file the FAFSA after January 1 preceding the start of the academic year. You should file the FAFSA as soon as possible after that to meet the application deadlines for the various scholarships and state grant programs.
But what if I haven't filed taxes yet?
You should file by the appropriate deadline(s) using estimated tax information if necessary. You can make any necessary corrections to the FAFSA after you and your parents file the income tax return.
What if I haven't been admitted as a student yet?
UMSL will hold your FAFSA results and will process your financial aid after you are admitted as a degree-seeking student.
I've applied for financial aid at several schools and I've received an award letter from each. Why am I eligible for more financial aid, including more loans, at some of the school than at others?
Since the cost of attendance is probably different at each of the schools to which you applied, you may be eligible for more aid at some of the schools than at others. Also, each school may have a different pool of scholarship money available to offer.