Changes are coming to how summer financial aid works at Mississippi State University.
Many students enroll in summer classes, but often have trouble paying for them. This may become a thing of the past now that summer financial aid is becoming more available.
“We now have year-round Pell Grants,” Director of Financial Aid Paul McKinney said.
A major change to the way summer financial aid works is that students no longer have to fill a summer request form to enroll in classes.
For a student who has filled out their 2018-2019 FAFSA, all they have to do for summer financial aid is simply enroll in summer classes. A minimum of six credit hours must be taken.
“We looked at the process to streamline it for the students,” McKinney said.
Students with their FAFSA completed will be eligible to receive aid for the summer on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If a student signs up for summer classes and then changes their hours, a change request form is no longer required. The Department of Financial Aid will be able to track student’s hours to determine his or her aid.
Many changes are coming to MSU due to the Department of Education making changes last summer, which led to the year round pell grant.
“We saw a lot of students get aid who couldn’t before,” assistant director Carson Wilkins said. “It’s important not to change hours.”
The Department of Financial Aid accepts walk-ins and does not require an appointment. Students can come in during regular business hours to ask questions or to walk through the process of filling out forms or complete the FAFSA itself.
“We are going to be more efficient in processing financial aid,” Wilkins said. “We’re here because of the students.”
To give students the best experience, employees of the financial aid office are available to give assistance.
“We try to break down as many of the barriers we can for students,” McKinney said.
The 2018-2019 FAFSA can still be filled out in order to be eligible for the summer.
Once a student has been awarded financial aid, they must go to their myState account and accept their awards.
The Department of Financial Aid is currently sending out emails to students who completed the 2018-2019 FAFSA who are not on the record to graduate to alert them to complete their 2019-2020 FAFSA.
The priority date for the FAFSA was April 1. This date guarantees the students their financial aid will be in place for the fall semester.
Another way the process has become easier is due to Dawg Documents. Dawg Documents is a secure form submission portal used to submit sensitive documents for financial aid.
This service is available on the financial aid website. Once a document is submitted, the student will receive an email once that document has been received.
“It’s a more efficient way to get us those documents,” Wilkins said.