MSU Office of Financial Aid announces additional ‘gap’ scholarship for summer students

Contact: Allison Matthews

Garner Hall, home of MSU's Office of Financial Aid, is pictured-a brick building with a crepe myrtle beside the door.
MSU’s Office of Financial Aid is helping bridge financial gaps in students’ educational expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While funding is available, the office is awarding eligible students attending summer school funds to cover their tuition and capital improvement fees at 100% after other award grants have been applied. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is announcing additional scholarship funds available for eligible students enrolling in summer terms.

MSU Director of Financial Aid Paul McKinney said the university has a limited amount of funding available to help full Pell Grant eligible students attend summer school with their tuition and capital improvement fees covered 100%.

Mississippi State University’s summer 2020 classes all will take place online to help students stay on their academic paths despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have the added advantage of a number of additional course offerings, and they can take as much as an entire semester during three summer sessions. MSU summer terms include Maymester [May 6-29], First Term [June 1-29], Second Term [July 6-August 4], as well as a Summer Ten Week Term, [June 1-August 4]. For more about MSU’s Summer Advantage, visit

McKinney said the scholarship program is a “gap fill” that awards the difference between a student’s tuition/capital improvement fee charges minus their Pell and Student Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) awards. He explained that awards will be made until the program funding is fully utilized.

“If students still have a balance owed after their Pell and SEOG grants are applied, we will cover it with this scholarship while funds are available,” McKinney said.

He emphasized that while there is no application that needs to be completed, students must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to participate in the scholarship program:

—Complete the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

—Have a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined on the FAFSA 

—Be an undergraduate student who is eligible and is paid a Pell Grant for the summer term based on a zero EFC and is enrolled in at least three credit hours

—Meet the Satisfactory Academic Standards (SAP) requirements established for all MSU students receiving federal aid

—Student awards are made to both in-state and out-of-state students

—Athletic students receiving a full athletic scholarship are not eligible

If a student is eligible and funding is available, the scholarship will automatically be awarded and accepted for the student. 

Additionally, the maximum award is based on 12 hours, and while students can enroll in more than 12 hours, those additional hours will not be factored into the scholarship. The scholarship maximum amount is locked at the time the award is made. However, if a student drops hours before classes begin each mini-term during the summer, the scholarship also will be reduced to match the reduced enrolled hours. McKinney said the scholarship will not cover any distance education or other summer fees, with the exception of the capital improvement fee. He added that the scholarship is only awarded for the Summer 2020 semester until funds are exhausted.

“MSU’s Office of Financial Aid is working diligently to help students bridge financial gaps in their educational expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we hope this and other programs will help students achieve their goals of obtaining a college degree from Mississippi State University,” McKinney said.

For questions or additional information about this scholarship program, visit or email

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 11:17 am