Special Programs

  • Physician's Assistant Program
  • Physical Therapy Program
  • Occupational Therapy Program
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program

Some programs on campus (such as the Physician's Assistant Program; the Physical Therapy Program; Occupational Therapy; and the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program) require additional resources due to greater costs. To assist our students in these programs, the Office of Student Financial Aid is happy to provide this resource page and also answer any questions that these students may have.

What is it Going to Cost?

Understanding Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Cost of Attendance, occasionally referred to as COA or budget, is an estimate of a student’s educational expenses for a period of enrollment (typically an academic year). The Department of Education requires that all institutions with students utilizing federal aid, establish a COA prior to awarding and disbursing financial aid funds.

Our COA is determined annually based on average expenses Missouri State students incur while completing their programs of study. Each special program has a different COA. It is important to keep in mind that the COA is not necessarily reflective of how much it will cost you to attend Missouri State.

The COA is comprised of various estimated components including:

·         Tuition & Fees

·         Housing & Meals

·         Books & Supplies

·         Transportation

·         Personal Expenses

·         Direct Loan Fees

Your actual costs at Missouri State will be determined by factors such as: the number of hours enrolled in per semester (tuition), if you take out loans (Direct Loan Fees), and whether you live on-campus or commute from home (housing costs and transportation costs).

How is COA Used?

The COA serves as the ceiling on how much financial aid you are eligible to be awarded. Federal regulations require that a student’s award package not exceed COA (or budget). For this reason, when we are developing your COA we want to make sure it is as comprehensive but accurate as possible.

How do I Pay for It? 

Federal Aid - Unsubsidized Loans

When you are accepted into your program and you fill out your FAFSA, you automatically qualify for a set amount (Typically $20,500) of unsubsidized loans. Unsubsidized loans are student loans taken out through the federal government, that has interest accruing while you are in college, but typically has a lower interest rate then loans through private lenders (banks, and companies). You will not have to start paying these backs until after your 6 month grade period has ended (typically 6 months after graduation or if you stop attending).

Additional Aid

Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students are initially offered Unsubsidized Stafford Loans up-to their annual cost of attendance. However, for students in these special programs the annual Unsubsidized Loan limit of $20,500 is insufficient to cover all program costs. To compensate for any funding gaps students may apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, up-to their annual cost of attendance.

  • Amount: Loan amount may not exceed the student’s cost of education minus other aid received.
  • Interest rates: The current interest rate is fixed at 7.08 percent.
  • Repayment: Interest is charged from the first disbursement date, and repayment on both interest and principal begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement for the academic year. You may defer repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time.
  • Qualifications: PLUS Loans are granted to graduate and professional degree-seeking students who have good credit history. You must have applied for your annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Programs before applying for this loan.
  • Application: You must complete your FAFSA, a Direct PLUS Loan Application, Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note.

Visit the Applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan page for more information.

Alternative Loans

An alternative option to cover any funding gaps between the annual graduate student Direct Unsubsidized Loan limit of $20,500 and program cost of attendance, many students choose to apply for Alternative, or Private, Loans.

  • Amount: Varies. Alternative loans are private loans designed to help student with educational expenses that exceed other available assistance.
  • Interest rates: The interest rate varies by loan provider.
  • Repayment: Varies by loan.
  • Qualifications: Your eligibility is based on credit approval.
  • Application: You can apply online for alternative loans. You should only apply for alternative loans after all federal loan program eligibility has been exhausted.

Budget Adjustments

Adjustments can be made to a student's standard budget if the student's program requires participation in events (i.e. Clinical Rotations) which result in costs not already allocated in the standard budget. Please note that special academic programs such as PA, OT, PT, DSS, and DNAP have additional program expense components already factored into participating students' standard budgets. Common budget adjustments include but are not limited to:

  • Cost of transportation to-and-from clinical sites
  • Cost of housing for any secondary residence due to clinical participation
  • Cost of child care expenses (i.e. daycare providers)
  • Cost of program books and supplies which exceeds allocation already allowed in standard budget components

To request a budget adjustment students must provide a completed and signed copy of one of the below Budget Increase Request Forms accompanied by supporting documentation. Supporting documentation can include receipts, order confirmations, invoice statements, MapQuest mileage printouts, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What FAFSA do I Fill Out?

The FAFSA goes by school year. You will want to fill out the FAFSA for the year that you will be enrolled in your program. If your program starts in summer, you will need to fill out the FAFSA for the previous year, as summer is attached to the school year before

  • Ex) Starting Summer 2020
    • Fill out the 19-20 FAFSA for the Summer 2020 term
    • Fill out the 20-21 FAFSA for the Fall 20, Spring 21, and Summer 21 term.

How do I Adjust my Unsubsidized Loans?

To adjust your loans that you have already accepted or declined, you will need to fill out an adjustment form. Adjustment forms are found on the MSU Financial Aid website, financial aid forms, academic year you are wanting to adjust, Adjustment to Direct Loan Request 20**-20**. Please send this form to the address/ email/ fax information listed on the top of the form.

What is the Difference Between Financial Aid and Financial Services?

Contact Financial Services if you have questions regarding your Missouri State bill, direct deposit of financial aid funds, student refunds, the deferred payment plan or payments. Contact Financial Aid for questions regarding scholarships, grants and loans.

What is the Busy Time for the Financial Aid Offices?

Students will not be able to make an appointment with their counselor for the first two weeks of each semester. Forms and FAFSA's should be completed by the priority deadline.

How Long Will it Take for Forms to Process?

Allow a two week processing time for all forms. During peak times, expect a three week processing time frame.

Who do I Contact with my Questions?

Breanna Scanlon 

Financial Aid Counselor

Office Of Student Financial Aid

Carrington Hall, Room 118

901 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65897

Office: 417-836-4926

Fax: 417-836-8393