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Federal and State Grants

There are numerous grants and scholarships offered by the state of Missouri and the Federal government that can be used to help with the cost of tuition. You will need to be proactive in exploring the various options and applying for those which you may qualify. You can learn more about some of the available State and Federal grants below, and if you need further assistance please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) administers several scholarship and grant programs for Missouri residents. Three of the most common are outlined below. You are encouraged to visit MDHEWD's Grants and Scholarships page for information about additional opportunities that may be available to you.

All aid offers from the State of Missouri are estimates until the State confirms the amounts at the beginning of each semester. The University works with the State to use the best estimate available at the time the student is packaged. These aid offers may be reduced or canceled depending on availability of funding from the Missouri Department of Higher Education, who is the final authority on eligibility and amounts. Once the University receives funds from the State, Student Financial Services will credit these to your account. Funds for these awards usually are received and posted to student accounts after each semester begins.

Note: Non-Missouri residents are encouraged to investigate the availability of grants or scholarships through their home state. Non-Missouri residents can find contact information for their respective state's higher education agencies on the web through the Department of Education.

Access Missouri Award

The Access Missouri Award is a need-based grant program for undergraduate students who are Missouri residents and US Citizens or permanent residents. FAFSAs must be received by the FAFSA Processor by February 1st for the upcoming academic year. The award is determined by your EFC/SAI (maximum is 12,000) from your FAFSA. You must enroll full time (a minimum of 12 credit hours) each semester and not have completed 150 semester credit hours. Amounts can vary annually. To renew, students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. More details are available on the MDHEWD Access Missouri webpage.

Advanced Placement Incentive Grant

The Advanced Placement Incentive Grant is a nonrenewable grant designed to encourage high school students to take, and score well on, the Advanced Placement tests in mathematics and science. Students must achieve two grades of three or higher on Advanced Placement exams in the field of math and/or science while attending a Missouri public high school. Students must receive the Access Missouri Award in the academic year in which the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant is offered and be enrolled full time (a minimum of 12 credit hours) during the semester. Students who are eligible for Access Missouri are eligible for the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant. Eligible students can receive a one-time grant of $500, subject to state appropriations. 

Students must complete and submit an Advanced Placement Incentive Grant Application by June 1 preceding the start of the academic year. The application and more details are available on the MDHEWD Advanced Placement webpage.

Bright Flight Scholarship (Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship)

The Bright Flight Scholarship is a merit scholarship from the state of Missouri. A student must score in the top 3% of all Missouri high school students taking the ACT or SAT test in their senior year, a 32 composite score for the class of 2023 seniors. Eligible students must enroll in the academic year following graduation from high school and be Missouri residents who are US Citizens or permanent residents. Full-time (a minimum of 12 credit hours) is required to receive the scholarship in a semester.

Exact eligibility criteria and award amounts are determined annually by the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE). To renew, students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and have not completed a first bachelor’s degree. More details are available on the MDHEWD Bright Flight webpage.

Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant

The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a program for Missouri residents who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are 25 years or older, have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years and are working toward their first bachelor’s degree. This program is designed to ensure, when combined with other governmental financial aid, that tuition and fee costs are fully covered.

The program addresses workforce needs by helping adults pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need. More than 635 program areas have been designated as eligible. More details are available on the MDHEWD Fast Track Workforce webpage.

UMSL Fast Track Eligible Programs 2020-2021 (subject to change):

Bachelor Degrees

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computing Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Elementary Education
  • Information Systems and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Physical Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Social Work

Undergraduate Certificates

  • Actuarial Science
  • Applied Econometrics and Data Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Programming Education
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Internet and Web
  • Mobile Apps and Ubiquitous Computing

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a need-based program that offers funds to undergraduate students who are seeking, and have not already earned, a bachelor's degree. Once a student earns a bachelors degree, or completes all the requirements at UMSL for a bachelors degree, the student is no longer eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.

The Student Aid Undex (SAI) is an eligibility index number that your college’s or career school’s financial aid office uses to determine how much federal student aid you would receive if you attended the school. This number results from the information that you provide on your FAFSA form. This number is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide. A negative SAI indicates the student has a higher financial need. Learn how the SAI is calculated.

The college or career school will determine your financial need by subtracting your SAI from the cost of attendance.

The The FAFSA Simplification Act  replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the SAI. Learn more about the changes with the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

Your SAI will be listed on your FAFSA Submission Summary . Before completing the FAFSA form, use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to estimate your SAI.

You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If you have exceeded the 12-semester maximum, you will lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants beginning in the 2022-23 school year. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600%.

For example, if your maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2021-2022 school year was $5,550, but you only receive $2,775 because you were only enrolled for one semester, you would have used 50% of your maximum award for that year. If in the following school year, you were enrolled only three-quarter time in each of two semesters, you would have used 75% of your maximum award for that year. Between these two, you would have received 125% out of the total 600% lifetime limit.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is a grant for undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor's degree who are considered to have exceptional financial need. In order to qualify, students must qualify for a Pell Grant. Unlike Pell funding, FSEOG funding is limited, and offers are made as funds are available with priority given to those students with lowest EFC (zero) who applied by the priority deadline of April 1 preceding the academic year.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. A student must be under 24 years old and be enrolled at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

For more information regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

TEACH Grant Program

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant funds were disbursed.

TEACH Grant funds are awarded based on student enrollment. Below is a listing of corresponding TEACH Grant eligibility for various enrollment status.

Full-time enrollment  $2,000/semester
Three-quarter enrollment  $1,500/semester
Half-time enrollment  $1,000/semester
Less than half-time  $   500/semester

Students are reviewed for TEACH Grant eligibility at the beginning of each semester. In order to qualify for the TEACH Grant, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to UMSL. Students will be considered if they indicate on the FAFSA that they  are/will complete coursework necessary for becoming a teacher.
  2. Be enrolled in a degree program in the College of Education that will lead to a career in teaching.
  3. Have a  minimum cumulative GPA  of 3.25 or scored above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test.

If a student meets these requirements, they will be sent further instructions via their UMSL email address on completing a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Entrance Counseling session.   

For more information or a listing of high-need fields or schools that serve low-income students, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.