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Financial Aid

Student Resources

Alternative loans are available to students who are not eligible for financial aid or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. The student's eligibility is determined by the cost of attendance minus other financial aid or the annual loan maximum amount as determined by the lender.

Because alternative loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, they must be insured privately. This extra cost is passed on to the borrower in the form of higher fees and interest rates. Additionally, the lender will evaluate your credit history as well as other factors to determine if they will lend to you. You may be denied by one lender and approved by another because of the different ways they interpret your information.

Choosing an alternative loan lender is an important aspect in securing additional financial aid resources. The Office of Financial Aid recommends that you borrow from one of the lenders listed below because of their automated processing, their commitment to providing quality service to their borrowers, and their repayment incentives for helping students manage their loan debt, however, it is not required. Our office processes loans regardless of your lender choice; however, we may need additional information concerning your lender if they are not set up in our system.

To search for potential alternative loans from lenders Southern Miss students have been routinely using over the last five years, Click Here.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students receiving federal student aid are required to adhere to academic standards that may differ from those already required through the Office of the Registrar.

In order to receive and maintain federal financial assistance (grants, student loans, and work-study employment), students are required to progress satisfactorily toward completion of their course of study. If a student does not maintain the minimum satisfactory academic progress after the spring semester, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.

For information on our satisfactory academic progress policy and how to appeal your federal financial aid suspension Click Here.

Federal financial aid recipients who are concurrently enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College or Pearl River Community College and The University of Southern Mississippi may be able to receive the maximum funding for which they have eligibility based on the combined enrollments.  Applications are available from the Office of Financial Aid.

In order to participate, students must be admitted with the appropriate admission status, be seeking a first bachelor's degree, have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with all required documentation, and be in good standing both academically and financially.  Other restrictions may apply.

In very limited situations Federal law may allow a school to consider a dependent student independent (for financial aid purposes) when unusual conditions exist and a dependent student is unable to provide parental data on the FAFSA. Circumstances may include...

  • Your parents are incarcerated
  • You have left home due to an abusive family environment
  • You do not know your parents location, are unable to contact them, and you are not adopted

Not all situations are considered unusual. The following would not be considered valid situations:

  • You do not live with your parents or you are self-sufficient
  • Your parents refuse to contribute to your college expenses
  • Your parents do not claim you (the student) as an exemption on their income taxes

Contact The Office of Financial Aid for more information regarding this process. 

 

Verification

Each year the U.S. Department of Education randomly selects a percentage of our student population for a process called verification. If your student is selected for verification, you are encouraged to submit the requested documentation to the Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid in a timely manner. Not doing so may cause a delay in your student being awarded federal financial aid. 

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the Federal Student Aid Program you will receive a communication from the Office of Financial Aid listing what items are required from your to complete the verification process.  You can also view your verification items in SOAR under your To-Do-List.

For more detailed information concerning verification and to access the needed verification forms Click Here.

The University of Southern Mississippi Office of Financial Aid is partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to offer students a wide variety of financial aid options in the forms of Federal Grants, Federal Student Work-study, and Federal Direct Student Loans.

In order to qualify for federal aid programs students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  New and continuing students must apply each October at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.

For more important information concerning Federal Aid Program Click Here.

Financial Aid awards may be reevaluated due to special circumstances:

  • Divorce of Student or supporting Parent
  • Death of Spouse or supporting Parent
  • Loss of income or unemployment of student, spouse, or supporting Parent
  • Excessive and unusual family medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Other exceptional circumstances

All requests to revise your award must include supporting documentation (copies of check stubs, medical expenses, etc., and/or thorough written explanation). Students who do not meet one of the above guidelines or students failing to provide proper documentation will have their requests denied. 

Contact The Office of Financial Aid for more information regarding this process.

Revisions are requests to change your Financial Aid offer. Our financial aid packages are normally prepared for the maximum amount allowed; therefore, revisions are kept to a minimum.

Revisions are required when there are extenuating circumstances such as:

  • Parent PLUS Loan denied
  • Cancel work-study to be considered for additional loan proceeds
  • Progressing a grade-level to change your loan limits
  • Removal from Adult Services
  • Child Care Payment Dependent Care Allowance (additional documentation may be necessary)
  • Other reasons: Computer Loan (additional documentation necessary)

Revision Request Applications are processed on-line through SOAR. You will need to navigate the following path once you have logged in to SOAR:

Self Service > Student Center > Finances > Revise My Financial Aid

To begin your application process in SOAR, apply now.

The Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid encourages students and parents to visit our Office of Undergraduate Scholarships.  This office is designed to be a hub for scholarship information and financial resources.

Other Scholarship resources:

Academic Common Market

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 at msfinancialaid.org/.  Student must apply each October.

For more important information concerning State Aid Programs and eligibility requirements Click Here.

Rights

Students at Southern Miss have a right to know the following:

  • The procedures and deadlines for applying for financial aid
  • The costs of attendance
  • The available programs of assistance
  • How your financial need is determined
  • The criteria used in awarding aid
  • The type and amount of assistance for which you are eligible
  • How and when aid will be disbursed
  • The terms and conditions governing any aid you accept
  • The requirements for continued eligibility
  • The University's refund policy & federal official/unofficial withdrawal policies
  • Whom to consult regarding your financial assistance

Responsibilities

Students at Southern Miss have a responsibility to:

  • Complete applications accurately and on time
  • Re-apply for federal and state aid at the beginning of every academic year
  • Provide requested documentation, verification, corrections, and additional information
  • Read and retain copies of all forms you sign
  • Register for the required number of hours each semester
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Notify the Office of Financial Aid of all resources received from outside sources
  • Know and comply with rules governing any aid you receive
  • Maintain up-to-date mailing and email addresses and telephone information with the Registrar's Office

Additional Responsibilities

As a recipient of financial aid, you have certain rights and responsibilities. On occasion funds are inadvertently disbursed in error. Should you receive financial aid funds for which you are not entitled, it is your responsibility to contact us prior to utilizing the funds. Failure to do this may result in repayment of the incorrect award.

Receipt of Other Financial Assistance
It is your responsibility to inform us of any financial aid that you receive from sources other than our office. Regulations require that we consider these funds in determining your eligibility for federal student aid. If you receive any form of assistance, including tuition waivers, after your initial awarding, an adjustment to your award package may be necessary. In some cases, the adjustment may include repayment of federal funds. In all cases, if an adjustment is necessary, you will be notified by email of whatever action is necessary.

*** Other financial assistance may include University and non-University scholarships, tuition waivers, loans, grants, fellowships, and any other source of educational assistance you receive.

Qualified veterans and the dependents of deceased or disabled veterans whose death or disability is a direct result of their military service may be eligible for VA educational benefits while attending The University of Southern Mississippi.

For assistance regarding veterans educational benefits, please contact the Veterans Administration (VA) at 1.888.442.4551 or http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/. More information regarding VA educational benefits can be found by contacting the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families here.

Contact Us

Office of Financial Aid
Kennard-Washington Hall (KWH) 101
118 College Dr. #5101 Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Fax 601.266.5769

Campus Map

Email
financial.aidFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4774

Contact Us

Student Services One Stop
Hardy Hall, First Floor
730 East Beach Blvd. 
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Email
OneStop_GPFREEMississippi

Phone
228.214.3370