Federal Financial Assistance
One of the best investments a person can make in his or her future is a graduate education. To help a graduate student achieve his or her educational goals, UCM offers federal loan and employment aid programs.
Each student’s economic situation is recognized as unique, and every federal financial aid application is examined on an individual basis. It is very important for each applicant to:
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on time.
- Comply with all financial aid instructions, procedures, and requests for information and documents.
- Enroll at least half-time (four or more graduate credit hours) each semester in courses that are applicable to the degree program.
- Contact UCM’s Student Financial Services office with any questions or concerns you may have:
In person: Ward Edwards Building 1100
Federal financial assistance can be used to help pay direct educational expenses, such as fees, books and supplies, and residence hall charges, as well as variable living costs, such as off-campus housing, food, transportation, child care, and other personal costs related to attending UCM. Although the responsibility for meeting educational and living costs lies with the student, financial aid from the following federal program can be awarded to supplement a student’s ability to pay his/her total expenses. Any other assistance received must be included and could impact a student’s eligibility for federal aid.
To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, students must have a documented record of attendance in the classes for which they enroll. Registration for classes is, in itself, not sufficient to prove attendance. A student who receives or otherwise benefits from federal or state financial aid, but has no documented record of attendance in the class(es) for which (s)he is enrolled, is not eligible to have received/benefitted from the aid, and will be required to repay all or part of the federal and state assistance credited to his/her UCM account for the semester. For information on return of federal funds, review the Student Financial Services policy.
Federal Financial Aid Available to Graduate Students
Student Loans - Low-interest unsubsidized Stafford Loans are the only type of federal aid available to graduate students, and must be repaid, but usually not until after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops to less than half-time enrollment status.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal law requires that each graduate student who wishes to continue receiving federal financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his or her Master’s or Education Specialist degree program. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as having successfully completed at least two-thirds of the credit hours attempted during their degree program in order to be eligible for financial aid for the subsequent year. In addition, a graduate student must maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative graduate GPA. Graduate and Education Specialist students must complete their degrees within the following parameters: 1. Master’s: 54 Graduate hours 2. Education Specialist: 45 Graduate hours beyond a Master’s degree.
Choose Red Grant
The Choose Red Grant allows new, incoming Graduate 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.
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 will be provided against the non-resident student fee. For information on this credit contact Student Financial Services.
Many scholarships from a wide variety of sources are awarded each year to graduate 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.
UCM realizes that many students are dependent upon federal financial assistance to satisfy the costs of attending UCM. However, students are still expected to have some money on hand to pay for incidental costs during the first few weeks of each semester. If an emergency arises, however, a student can apply at Student Financial Services for short-term loan funds (not to exceed $500). These funds usually must be repaid within 60 days. A $10 service charge will be levied to borrow money from the short-term loan fund.
Applications for the scholarships awarded by Graduate Studies are available in Ward Edwards 1800, 660-543-4621. A complete list of scholarships is available online through the UCM Scholarship Finder.
Graduate Student Achievement Award (administered by Graduate Education and Research) - This award waives $500 of the recipient’s fall and spring fees. The award is based on high academic achievement and leadership qualities. The award is applicable only toward mandatory tuition and fees. Students who receive a full-time graduate assistantship are not eligible for the award. Deadline: March 1.
Graduate Non-Resident Scholarship (administered by Graduate and International Student Services) - Covers the non-resident fees for graduate study at UCM for all students enrolling no later than the fourth semester following graduation from an undergraduate program at UCM; the student must have earned a minimum of 60 hours at UCM with a 3.00 or higher UCM GPA; renewable for six semesters if student maintains a graduate GPA of 3.40 or higher. Deadline: Open.
Warren C. Lovinger Graduate Student Scholarship (administered by the College of Education) - A scholarship award has been given annually since 1980 in honor of Dr. Warren C. Lovinger, past president of UCM. Applicants must have received an undergraduate degree from UCM and have been admitted to a graduate program at UCM. Students must have at least 16 credit hours remaining on their graduate program to be eligible for this award. Deadline March 1.
The Reid Hemphill Outstanding Graduate Student Award (administered by Graduate Education and Research) - This cash award is given to the university’s outstanding graduate student. The award was funded and established by Dr. Reid Hemphill, UCM’s first graduate dean. Nominations are made by faculty members to their deans. The deans of UCM’s colleges then nominate one student from the college for the award. The recipient is selected by the Graduate Council. Deadline: March 1.
The University of Central Missouri offers graduate assistant positions each year to many qualified students. Graduate assistantships include positions in teaching, laboratory, research, student affairs, and administration. Generally, full-time assistants work 20 hours per week for each week school is in session. This assistantship includes a tuition scholarship for graduate-level course work and a stipend. If the assistantship is three-fourths time, one-half time, or one-quarter time, work load and scholarship are adjusted accordingly. The graduate assistantship does not provide scholarship for classes taken for non-credit, pass/fail, audit, or undergraduate credit.
Criteria for Graduate Assistantships - Eligibility for consideration and continuation of a Graduate Assistantship require a student to meet all of the following requirements.
- Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution by the time the assistantship is to become effective.
- Be accepted into a graduate degree program at the University of Central Missouri.
- Have earned an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.70 or an undergraduate major GPA of 3.00 in an appropriate major. If the student has completed graduate work prior to application, the student must have earned a cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.00. If a student does not have a 2.70 undergraduate cumulative GPA or 3.00 undergraduate GPA in an appropriate major, a student may apply for an assistantship after completion of nine semester hours of graduate work with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA.
- All school requirements must be met.
Types of Graduate Assistantships
- Teaching Assistants - Generally, full-time teaching assistants teach two three-credit hour undergraduate courses per semester. Some teaching assistants aid instructors with large classes. University of Central Missouri complies with RSMO 170.012 which reads in part:
Section 2.1. Any graduate student who did not receive both his/her primary and secondary education in a nation or territory in which English is the primary language shall not be given a teaching appointment during his or her first semester of enrollment at any public institution of higher education in the state of Missouri. Exceptions may be granted in special cases upon approval of the chief academic and executive officers of the institution. Section 2.2: All graduate students who did not receive both their primary and secondary education in a nation or territory in which English is the primary language shall be tested for their ability to communicate orally in English in a classroom setting prior to receiving teaching appointments. Such testing shall be made available by the public institutions at no cost to the graduate student. Section 2.3: All graduate students prior to filling a teaching assistant position as a graduate student, who have not previously lived in the United States, shall be given a cultural orientation to prepare them for such teaching appointment.
- Laboratory Assistants - Laboratory assistants conduct laboratory activities, conduct music studio classes, assist in coaching an athletic team, work in the library, or work in a computer lab.
- Research Assistants - Research assistants support faculty and staff in research activities.
- Administrative Assistants - Administrative assistants work in campus offices.
- Student Affairs Assistants - Student affairs assistants assume responsibilities in various student services offices including the Elliott Union, residence halls, and intramurals.
Procedures for a Graduate Assistantship Application
A graduate student interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship should:
- View the list of available graduate assistantship positions online. Check the website frequently, as new positions are often available.
- Submit an online application to those positions that the student meets the qualifications.
- Upload three (3) letters of reference, all school-specific requirements, and all official transcripts.
- Submit all school-specific requirements.
The student is responsible for ensuring their application is complete. Action on the student’s application cannot be taken until transcripts and reference letters have been uploaded.
Although applications can be submitted anytime, students are urged to complete the application and submit credentials as early as possible. Positions will be available online until they are filled.
If a current graduate assistant wishes to have the appointment renewed, the student should consult with his/her supervisor.
President’s Diversity Scholarship (administered by Graduate and International Student Services) - This is an award of a graduate assistantship for one academic year. Applicants must meet an income eligibility requirement, and/or be a first-generation graduate student and/or be a member of an underrepresented group in their discipline and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50. Graduate students who receive the award in their first year may reapply for a second-year award. Deadline: March 1.
Policies for Graduate Assistants
For current Graduate Assistantship information review the GA Employment Handbook. All newly hired Graduate Assistants receive the Graduate Assistant Employment Handbook: Policies and Procedures manual. A student may be awarded an assistantship for a maximum of four semesters, excluding summer sessions. An Education Specialist student who has had an assistantship or grant-funded research assistantship while working on a master’s degree may have three additional semesters, for a total of seven semesters as a graduate assistant, excluding summer sessions. A student who is working on a second master’s degree is not eligible for any additional semesters of an assistantship if they have already fulfilled their four semesters.
All graduate assistants must be enrolled in at least six hours of graduate credit each semester. The recommended number of hours for half-time and full-time graduate assistants is nine hours per semester. The maximum number of hours for any graduate student with a half-time or greater assistantship is 12 hours per semester. Students who hold less than half-time assistantships may take a maximum of 16 hours during a regular semester.
The maximum number of hours for students holding a summer appointment as a graduate assistant is nine hours for the summer. Courses taken for undergraduate credit and for audit are included in the maximum total semester hours. A full-time graduate assistantship includes a scholarship with a maximum monetary amount. The scholarship for less than full-time assistantships will be adjusted accordingly.
Please be aware that any scholarship received as part of an assistantship can have an impact on the total amount of federal student loan and employment assistance a graduate student is eligible to receive. The amount of the assistantship (stipend) has no impact on the total federal financial assistance received during the year for which the assistantship has been awarded. For additional information, contact UCM’s Student Financial Services.
For additional information about graduate assistantships, contact the Graduate Education and Research office, Ward Edwards 1900, at 660-543-4729.
The University of Central Missouri office of Military and Veteran Services is a liaison between students requiring veteran services and the Veterans Administration offices in St. Louis and Kansas City.
Support is also provided to students enrolled at UCM who are in the Military Reserve/National Guard (Chapter 1606), on active duty or no longer in the military but eligible for VA educational benefits (Chapter 30), Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation students (Chapter 31), dependents of military personnel (Chapter 35), and personnel who contributed to the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32).
UCM is in compliance with the requirements of PL 113-146 the Veteran Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Section 702. UCM will waive all non resident rates to uniformed service veterans and their qualified dependents covered under Section 702.
For recipients of Chapter 31 and Chapter 33 of the G.I. Bill™, the University will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of tuition or mandatory fees payment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. See Section 103 of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 for the chapter.
For information or assistance completing the proper documentation to ensure VA educational benefits are received in a timely manner, contact Military and Veteran Services:
Office Location: Union 117
Telephone: 660-543-8990, Fax: 660-543-8044