How to get Financial Aid

Apply: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ®)

Accept aid: Students must log into MyView in order to accept any offered financial aid, and to access any important to-do list information that may be needed in order to process your financial aid. You will need your SSO and password to log into MyView.

Learn more about accepting financial aid

Receive aid: Also known as disbursement, payment of financial aid into your student account will occur at the beginning of each semester provided you have registered for sufficient credits. First payments of financial aid into student accounts generally occur the week before classes begin.

If you receive any scholarship or loan checks directly from a third party, such as a donor or lender, you must submit these checks for processing to the Office of Student Financial Services, 327 Millennium Student Center. We will deposit the funds to your University student account and credit balance funds will be sent to you via mail or direct deposit.

Learn more about disbursement

Keeping your Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Services to monitor the academic progress of all federal financial aid recipients. Recipients of federal financial aid are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree as a condition of receiving financial aid. 

Learn more about SAP

Withdrawing from Courses

Depending on whether you withdraw during the normal refund period, withdrawing before or after your financial aid has been credited to your account, and whether dropping the class causes you to change enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc.) your financial aid may need to be reduced or canceled. You are considered withdrawn once you are no longer enrolled in any courses for the semester.

Learn more about how withdrawing affects financial aid

Data Sharing Policy

Based on the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill passed on March 23, 2018, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Student Financial Services Office may provide, with explicit written consent from the student, FAFSA information to scholarship-granting organizations or tribal organizations.


What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is any assistance given to a student to help pay for the cost of college. The assistance can take the form of gift aid, which does not have to be repaid. Scholarships and grants are gift aid. Financial aid can also take the form of self-help aid - money that has to be paid back or earned. Loans and federal work study employment are examples of self-help assistance.

Who gets Financial Aid?

In order to be considered eligible for federal student aid, the student must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate granting program. For graduate certificate programs, please check the list of eligible programs.
  • Be a citizen, national, or a permanent resident of the United States
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the program
  • Not be in default on any federal student loan (Perkins, Stafford, PLUS, or GradPLUS)
  • Not owe a refund or repayment on any aid program
  • Be enrolled for sufficient hours
    • Minimum of 6 credit hours for undergraduates and 5 credit hours for graduate/professional
  • Scholarship eligibility requirements are determined by the sponsors.


Where does Financial Aid come from?

Financial aid can come from many sources. The federal government funds need-based financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant, SEOG, and Federal Work Study. Some states also offer grants and scholarships to residents of their states (see MDHEWD). Scholarships are sponsored by corporations, private non-profit foundations, professional organizations, and often, the student's own university.


Cost of Attendance (COA)  -  Expected Family Contribution (EFC)  =  need

The federal, and most state, aid programs exist to supplement a family's own resources to help pay for education. The financial aid office determines a student's eligibility for these programs based on guidelines established by Congress and the Department of Education. A student submits information about their family resources by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That information is then analyzed based on a standard formula that determines how much the student and the family can contribute toward a student's educational costs. That contribution is referred to as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students with very low EFCs can qualify for certain grants like the Pell Grant, SEOG, or other available aid.

The financial aid office of your school subtracts the EFC from the estimated cost of attendance (COA). The cost includes charges billed directly by the university, such as tuition and fees, but also includes other costs, such as the cost of transportation to and from school, books and supplies, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses. The difference is called a student's need. The amount of any gift aid you receive combined with any other need-based assistance, such as a federal work study job, cannot exceed your need. The financial aid office will offer you as much assistance as is possible--this financial aid is often a combination of federal grants, state grants, university funds, employment, and loans.