Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. Need is determined by the student's EFC calculated from the FAFSA.
You are not eligible to receive a Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.
A Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances.
Full-time status is based off of 12 credits during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits during the summer to be eligible.
SEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFCs will be the first to get the SEOG. Like Pell Grants, SEOG does not have to be repaid. Typical award amounts at Southern Miss are between: $100 - $500.
The TEACH Grant Program provides grant funds to postsecondary students who are completing or planning to complete coursework that is needed to begin a career in teaching, and who agree to serve for at least four years as a full-time, highly qualified teacher in a high-need field, in a school serving low-income students. TEACH Grants are prorated for less than full-time enrollment.
For any TEACH Grant first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2021, the maximum award of $4,000 is reduced by 5.7 percent ($228), resulting in a maximum award of $3,772.
To be eligible for the TEACH Grant, you must:
Within eight years of finishing your teacher preparation program, you must serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field for at least four years in designated schools that serve low-income students. If you receive the TEACH Grant but do not fulfill the requirements of the program, your grant will convert to a direct unsubsidized loan, which you will have to repay with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed. Once it converts to a loan it can never go back to a grant.
Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study. Typical award amount at Southern Miss is between $800 - $3,600 for undergrads and $1,800 - $6,000 for graduate students.
This award must be accepted in your SOAR account. After acceptance, you must apply for work study positions on campus. Apply for positions online by logging into your Handshake account here.
After your FAFSA is processed, your school will review the results and will inform you about your loan eligibility.
Your Federal Stafford Student Loan offer amounts for the financial aid year, which includes the fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester, are determined by your grade level:
|Grade Level||Dependent Students||Independent Students|
Graduate Students are eligible for a total of $20,500 in unsubsidized loans per financial aid year.
There are also enrollment requirements for stafford loans: undergraduate students must enroll in a minimum of six credit hours per semester and graduate students must enroll in a minimum of four credit hours per semester to be eligible for any stafford loan disbursement.
Subsidized Stafford Loan:
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. If you're eligible for a subsidized loan, the government will pay (subsidize) the interest on your loan while you're in school, for the first six months after you leave school, and if you qualify to have your payments deferred.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan:
You might be able to borrow loan funds beyond your subsidized loan amount even if you don't have demonstrated financial need. In that case, you'd receive an unsubsidized loan. Your school will subtract the total amount of your other financial aid from your cost of attendance to determine whether you're eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Unlike a subsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan).
If you are a first time loan borrower, you will have to complete two items on the Federal Student Aid website:
The federal government also limits the amount of loans you be borrow in your lifetime. Those amounts are shown below.
|Grade Level||Lifetime Maximum Loan Limit|
|Undergraduate Dependent Students||$31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans)|
|Undergraduate Independent Students||$57,500 of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans)|
|Graduate/Professional Students||$138,500 including undergraduate loans (of which no more than $65,000 can be subsidized loans)|
Additional Loan information can be found here.
Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay your educational expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. PLUS Loans are available through the Department of Education.
Parents must complete and submit a PLUS Loan application online here. When submitting this application, the parent must be logged in with the parent's FSA ID and Password, not the student's.
If approved, the parent must complete the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note. Parents may be required to completed Credit Counseling as well. Monitor your SOAR To-Do List for up to date items needed.
PLUS Loans for Graduate Students (Grad PLUS):
Graduate and professional degree students are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS Loans also apply to Graduate/Professional PLUS loans.
Applicants for these loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. The application can be completed online here.
Graduate students are required to complete the Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note for the loan to be processed.
The information you reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family
Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law and
is used to measure your family's financial strength on the basis of your family's
income and assets. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student
aid and indicates how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward
your cost of attendance for the school year. If your EFC is below a certain number,
you'll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility
requirements. The amount of your Pell Grant depends on your EFC, your cost of attendance
(which the Office of Financial Aid will calculate), and your enrollment status (full
time, three-quarter time, half time, or less than half time). For our other aid programs,
the financial aid administrator takes your cost of attendance and then subtracts your
EFC, the amount of a Federal Pell Grant you are eligible for, and aid you will get
from other sources. The result is your remaining financial need:
Cost of Attendance
- Federal Pell Grant Eligibility
- Aid From Other Sources
= Remaining Financial Need
Note: Certain financial aid sources are not allowed to exceed student's Cost of Attendance.
Even if you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) because you may be eligible for non-federal aid from states and private institutions. If you regain eligibility during the award year, notify your financial aid administrator immediately. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility.
The State of Mississippi offers several scholarship and aid programs to qualified MS residents. Find out what program you may qualify for and how to apply here. Students must apply each October.
State Aid Programs
Students must take 15 credits each semester and complete 15 credits to maintain eligibility for state aid.
All state program student eligibility requirements will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
Undergraduate state grant aid programs are no longer stackable with other state grant aid programs. If a student is eligible for more than one state grant aid program that student will only receive the state grant aid program that has the larger award amount. Example: a student eligible for MTAG and MESG will only receive MESG, since MESG is offered for $2500 compared to MTAG maximum amount of $1000.
Steps for Submitting an Appeal:
Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid
3825 Ridgewood Road | Jackson, MS 39211-6453
1-800-327-2980 (toll-free in Mississippi) or 601-432-6997