To help an individual reach his or her educational goals, the University of Central Missouri offers a variety of federal, state, and institutional grant, loan, and employment assistance, much of which is awarded on the basis of a student’s calculated financial need.
The Office of Student Financial Services annually processes over $110 million in assistance to nearly 90 percent of the students who attend the university. Each student’s family and economic situation is recognized as unique, and every financial aid application is examined on an individual basis. The number of applications for financial aid, however, almost always exceeds the total amount of assistance available. Therefore, it is very important for each applicant to:
- Apply on-time (by April 1) each year
- Comply with all financial aid instructions, policies, and requests for follow-up information and documents
- Contact the Office of Student Financial Services with any questions:
In person: Ward Edwards 1100
Web site: ucmo.edu/sfs
Federal and state financial assistance may be used to help pay direct educational expenses, such as tuition/fees, books/supplies, and housing/meal plan charges, as well as variable living costs, such as off-campus housing, food, transportation, child care, and other personal costs related to attending UCM. In accordance with federal and state regulations, the responsibility for meeting these costs lies with the student and his or her family. However, financial aid from one or more of the following programs can be awarded to supplement the family’s financial contribution.
Types of Financial Aid
Grants (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Access Missouri Grant) are types of assistance that do not have to be repaid.
Loans The Federal Stafford Loan and Federal PLUS (parent) Loan are types of low-interest loans that must be repaid, but not until after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops to less than half-time enrollment status.
Employment (Federal Work-Study) assistance enables a student to earn a portion of his or her educational resources through part-time work on-campus or off-campus. Information about available Federal Work-Study positions, as well as university-funded student employee positions, is available from the UCM Office of Career Services (WDE 1200, 660-543-4985).
How to Apply
To apply for the above types of federal and state financial aid, a student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. A student files the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov. There is no charge to apply.
After submitting the FAFSA, a financial aid applicant may be required to provide supporting documents or clarifying information to the UCM Office of Student Financial Services. If required to do so, the applicant will be contacted by UCM, and should respond promptly.
A student’s calculated need for federal and state financial assistance is determined by the federal processor of the FAFSA data. Once this calculation has been completed, financial aid is awarded to help meet the individual’s level of need. The student is then notified by email of his/her award package, which is accessible in the MyCentral portal. The notification process begins in December for UCM’s earliest FAFSA applicants and continues throughout the year.
Nearly $8 million in merit-based scholarship aid is awarded annually to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, special talents, or potential in a specific field of study. UCM also offers scholarships to non-Missouri residents.
To be considered for an undergraduate scholarship, a student must:
- Be admitted to UCM.
- Meet minimum qualifying criteria.
- Not be on academic probation.
- Be a full-time enrolled undergraduate student (12 or more credit hours). A scholarship recipient may enroll for less than 12 hours and be considered to receive a proportional amount of an award under the following conditions:
- Be enrolled in a UCM-approved internship or be student teaching, or
- Be a last-semester senior completing a bachelor’s degree program.
- Earn a minimum of 12 undergraduate hours per semester at UCM.
If a student is the recipient of more than one University of Central Missouri scholarship, the combined total may not exceed the cost of education at UCM. Scholarships may also be adjusted or canceled if the recipient fraudulently misrepresents any information on a UCM document or engages in serious misconduct which warrants substantial disciplinary penalty.
For information about scholarships associated with specific majors, students should contact the academic department offering the program of study. For general undergraduate merit scholarship information, visit ucmo.edu/scholarships or the UCM Office of Student Financial Services, 1100 Ward Edwards Building, 660-543-8266.
In addition to scholarships from the academic departments, privately funded scholarships are extremely important in helping students to achieve their academic goals and inspiring them to become leaders in their community, state and nation. Generous donors have advanced the university’s academic excellence by establishing nearly 600 scholarships to help students at all levels: from high school graduates beginning college to undergraduate students working on bachelor’s degrees and graduate students pursuing advanced study.
For information about scholarships available through the UCM Foundation, visit ucmo.edu/foundation/scholarships. The application deadline for most UCM Foundation scholarships is March 1. Students may apply for UCM Foundation scholarships at ucmo.edu/mocents.
The 15-to-Finish Scholarship is part of UCM’s Learning to a Greater Degree Contract. Degree-seeking freshmen and transfer students who began attending UCM in the summer of 2013 or later will be considered for this scholarship during their final semester at UCM. The amount of the scholarship is $1000 for students who began as new freshmen and $500 for students who began as new transfers. The 15-to-Finish scholarship will be credited to students’ university accounts during their graduation semester (summer graduates will receive the scholarship in the spring semester prior to their final semester). Students must maintain full-time enrollment at UCM each fall and spring semester, graduate in eight or less semesters from the first semester they started attending college (after high school graduation), and submit their UCM graduation application by the appropriate deadline: November 15 for spring and summer graduates or April 15 for fall graduates. Details of the 15-to-Finish Scholarship may be found at ucmo.edu/scholarships.
Many scholarships from a wide variety of sources are awarded each year to undergraduate students. Information and applications are available at ucmo.edu/scholarships. Financial aid recipients should be aware, however, that receiving non-UCM financial aid or educational benefits can result in an adjustment to the federal aid that may have already been awarded and/or disbursed.
Midwest Student Exchange Program
The Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) is an interstate initiative established by the Midwestern Higher Education Commission to increase the educational opportunities for students in its member states. The University of Central Missouri is an active participant. MSEP permits legal residents of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin to enroll at UCM at a reduced rate of tuition. The number of MSEP recipients is limited, however, and is based on factors such as date of admission to UCM, ACT/SAT score, etc. Complete information about MSEP eligibility is available from the Office of Student Financial Services, Ward Edwards 1100, 660-543-8266.
Non-Resident Fee Credit
If a non-resident student pays income tax in Missouri, or is in the legal custody of a parent who pays income tax in Missouri, a credit can be made against the non-resident student fees normally charged to the student. For information about this credit contact the UCM Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Ward Edwards 1400, 660-543-4290.
Choose Red Grant
The Choose Red Grant allows admitted students whose permanent residence is one of the eight states bordering Missouri to pay in-state tuition and fees for all classes on the main campus in Warrensburg. Missouri’s eight eligible border states are: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In addition, graduate students must be admitted to a graduate degree program and must remain in good standing to be eligible for the Choose Red Grant.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that every student who wishes to continue receiving financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his or her degree or certification program. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes is defined as successfully completing at least two-thirds of the credit hours attempted during a school year and is checked each May after all spring semester grades have been posted. Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for federal assistance. Graduate students must have a 3.00 cumulative GPA to maintain aid eligibility. Students should be aware that certain state financial assistance programs may require a recipient to maintain more stringent standards of satisfactory academic progress.
The University of Central Missouri realizes that many students are dependent upon federal financial assistance to satisfy the costs of attending UCM. However, it is important to have some personal money on hand when beginning classes each semester to help pay incidental costs during the first week or two of classes. If an emergency arises, a student can apply for short-term loan funds at the Office of Student Financial Services, 1100 Ward Edwards Building. This assistance must usually be repaid within 60 days. A service charge of $10 is levied to borrow from the UCM Short-Term Loan Fund, but no interest is charged.