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Undergraduate Scholarships

Understanding Basic Costs

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If you need help understanding your financial aid award letter and/or are currently comparing the costs between multiple institutions, we highly encourage you to utilize this simple Award Letter Analyzer to help you compare colleges to see the true cost with all of the current aid you have been awarded at each institution. If you are currently searching for additional aid to fund your college expenses, please review the steps below to ensure you have explored all funding college options. 

Financial Aid Award Letter Analyzer

Funding Guide

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Step 1: Review Basic Costs

Students and families ask us how to understand costs at Southern Miss. The question most commonly asked is, “How do I figure out the bottom line?” Use the charts below to determine an estimated review of basic expenses versus financial opportunities.

The expected amount to be paid by a student when he or she attends Southern Miss. Calculate your bottom line: (Expenses) minus (Gift-Aid plus Self-Help Aid) equals your bottom line. Students should be aware of indirect costs that may occur while in school.

Click here for more information regarding cost of attendance (COA) and common expenses to consider.

* Due to IHL policy, students are unable to receive two scholarships for the same designation (ex: two tuition or two housing scholarships).  Contact the Office of Undergraduate Scholarships at 601.266.4540 with specific questions regarding your circumstance.


Students can login to SOAR with student ID (wXXXXXXXX) and password. View financial opportunities offered for each academic year by selecting the Financial Aid tile. Pay attention to acceptance deadlines. Once you have a list of all financial opportunities that have been offered, you can use this total to help calculate your bottom line.

GO Scholarship System Logo

Step 2: Apply and Accept All University Scholarships in the GO System

Upon admission to Southern Miss, students should complete the Golden Opportunities Scholarship Application System (GO). Once a general application is submitted, students can also apply for other recommended opportunities listed in “My Applications”. 

  • Utilize the search bar feature to narrow down results by academic programs, student organizations, service opportunities, etc. 
  • Some student programs and student organizations offer scholarships for their participants.

GO System FAQ


Step 3: Apply for State of Mississippi Financial Aid

Mississippi residents can apply for gift-aid through the state of Mississippi. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now link you directly to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid, or you can apply separately for state of MS aid.

Apply for MS Aid



Step 4: Complete Your FAFSA (Federal Aid) Application

Southern Miss requires a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for all undergraduate scholarships. Why? We want to help our students maximize their opportunities for all types of financial assistance.

A student’s eligibility for federal aid is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA.

Complete Your FAFSA

Financial Aid FAQ 

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Step 5: Explore External Scholarships through Credible Search Engines

Private scholarships are typically awarded by sources not associated with Southern Miss. Examples include, but are not limited to, community organizations (Rotary, Lion’s Club, etc.) or companies. Students should submit these scholarships to Business Services.

There may be other opportunities from external resources. A good rule of thumb is to apply for all scholarships available. Even a small $100 scholarship could help cover one or two textbooks. 

Learn More

External Resources FAQ

Alternative Loans

Step 6: Alternative Loans 

Now that you have exhausted external scholarships or “Gift-Aid”, research external loans or “Self-Help Aid”.

Alternative Loans

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Step 7: Pay Remaining Balance

If you still have a remaining balance be prepared to pay before the University deadline.

Utilize personal funds and/or private loans to supplement any financial gaps. You can also minimize other personal expenses to maximize your saving plan for educational expenses. 

Learn More

 Payment Policy

 Helpful Resources

Reminder: FAFSA reported information is used in consideration for various scholarship awarding processes. 

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Scholarships
Kennard-Washington (KWH) 200
118 College Drive #5011
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map