Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Financial Assistance


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 (three 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
Telephone: 660-543-8266
Fax: 660-543-8080

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 programs 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 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 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 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 (other than Federal Work Study) 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.

Federal Work Study - A Federal Student Aid program that provides funding for part-time employment for some eligible students that need assistance meeting their postsecondary educational costs. Eligible students must secure qualified employment and begin working to receive these funds.

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. 

UCM Bound Out of State Scholarship

The UCM Bound Out of State Scholarship allows new, incoming Graduate students whose permanent residence is one of the following states to pay in-state tuition and fees for all classes on the main campus in Warrensburg. The eligible states are: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

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.

Other Assistance

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, and UCM, financial aid or educational benefits can result in an adjustment to the federal aid that may have already been awarded and/or disbursed.

Short-Term Loans

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 school related costs during the first few weeks of each semester not charged by UCM. 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.

Graduate Scholarships

Applications for the scholarships awarded by Graduate Studies are available online. A complete list of scholarships is available online through the UCM Scholarship Finder.

Graduate Student Achievement Award (administered by Graduate Studies) - This award waives $1,000 of the recipient’s fall or spring tuition/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 graduate assistantship are not eligible for the award. Deadline:  is per semester by the last day to add or drop classes, for either Spring or Fall semesters.

Graduate Non-Resident Scholarship (administered by Graduate Studies) - 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 the student maintains a graduate GPA of 3.40 or higher. Deadline: Must submit paperwork prior to the semester it applies to.

Warren C. Lovinger Graduate Student Scholarship  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 prior to June 1 of the year the award is granted and must have completed 60 credit hours of undergraduate credit at UCM. Current graduate students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.75. Deadline March 15.

The Reid Hemphill Outstanding Graduate Student Award (administered by Graduate Studies) - 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.

Graduate Assistantships

The University of Central Missouri offers graduate assistant positions to many qualified students each year. Graduate assistantships include teaching, laboratory, research, student affairs, and administration positions. Generally, full assistants work 20 hours per week for each week school is in session. This assistantship includes a tuition scholarship for graduate-level coursework and a stipend. If the assistantship is three-fourths time, one-half time, or one-quarter time, workload 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 requires 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 the completion of nine semester hours of graduate work with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA.
  • All department requirements must be met.

Types of Graduate Assistantships

  • Teaching Assistants - Generally, full teaching assistants teach two three-credit hour undergraduate courses per semester. Some teaching assistants aid instructors with large classes. The 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, 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 for that the student meets the qualifications.
  • Upload three (3) letters of reference, all position-specific requirements, and all official transcripts.

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.

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 and full graduate assistants is nine hours per semester. The maximum number of hours for any graduate student with a half 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 graduate assistantship includes a scholarship with a maximum monetary amount. The scholarship for less than full 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 Studies Office, Ward Edwards 1900, at 660-543-4729.

Veteran Services

The University of Central Missouri office of Military and Veteran Services assists veterans, service members, and dependents requiring services and benefits from the Veterans Administration, Military Tuition Assistance and any state or federal benefits. Students seeking to use benefits must contact our Military and Veteran Services office and fill out the Veterans Certification Request Form each semester they seek to use their benefits.

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.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to: 

  • Produce the VA’s Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the second week of class; 
  • Provide a written request to be certified by submitting the Certification Request Form.

UCM is in compliance with providing in-state rates for VA beneficiaries.

Below are a list of programs that are currently not approved for VA funding at UCM:

  • Alternative Certification Program 
  • Individualized Programs *Except BS and BA General Studies
  • THRIVE Program 
  • Last 2 years of the Radiologic Technology Program is not funded by VA at UCM as it is completed at affiliates and their sites. Students will need to contact affiliate to see if it is approved for VA funding.

Certifying Graduate Training for Students using VA benefits 

The School Certifying Official will enter the full time indicator upon certifying benefits to the VA and VA will make the final determination of rate of pursuit. 

Per the VA School Certifying Official Handbook: 

Enter the training time (full, ¾, etc.) in the TT/FT box for the enrollment period based on your school’s academic policy. The institution determines what is considered full-time.

Weeks Credit Hours TT/FT
16 weeks 6 Full time
16 weeks 5 3/4
16 weeks 4 Half time
16 weeks 3 Half time
16 weeks 2 Less than half but greater than 1/4
16 weeks 1 1/4 or less
12 weeks 6 Full time
12 weeks 5 3/4
12 weeks 4 Half time
12 weeks 3 Half time
12 weeks 2 Less than half but greater than 1/4
12 weeks 1 1/4 or less
8 weeks 6 Full time
8 weeks 5 3/4
8 weeks 4 Half time
8 weeks 3 Half time
8 weeks 2 Less than half but greater than 1/4
8 weeks 1 1/4 or less
6 weeks 6 Full time
6 weeks 5 3/4
6 weeks 4 Half time
6 weeks 3 Half time
6 weeks 2 Less than half but greater than 1/4
6 weeks 1 1/4 or less

*Students using Chapter 33 benefits must be 51% enrolled to receive a housing stipend.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.