Managing Your Costs

Student on Missouri State campus

Making college life more affordable

College is an investment in you – one that will help shape your future.

At Missouri State, we offer you an education that costs less than national averages because we believe in giving access to all students. We know it can still be a financial burden, though.

To decrease your stress while you pursue your degree, we’ve compiled some resources and ideas for accumulating less (or no) debt.

Take advantage of financial aid, scholarships and student employment

Help is available through federal, state and institutional resources.


Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid promptly

The FAFSA is available Oct. 1 each year. The earlier you apply, the more aid you may be eligible for.

Student employment

Find a job on campus or in the community through the Office of Student Employment

You’ll not only get a paycheck to help with your costs, you’ll also gain valuable work experience.


Apply for scholarships

Scholarships are available through Missouri State and outside sources. Remember, you don’t have to repay scholarships.

Student loans

Borrow student loans as needed

Take out student loans only for immediate costs. Track your student loan debt and be aware of payments you will need to make after graduation.

Make good decisions regarding your spending

Springfield has a low cost of living and offers many discounts to college students.

Budget tips

Make and follow a budget

It’s the first step to making your money go farther.


Select the best housing and meal option for you

Costs for on-campus housing vary based on your choice of accommodations and meal plan.


Buy used books from the bookstore

Many used books are available and can be sold back at the end of the semester.

Credit help

Avoid credit card debt

College students are targets for credit card companies.

Prepare for successful entry into your career

Good planning will put you in a better position for successful entry into your career.

Career support

Engage with the Career Center

Take an interest inventory and get advice as you explore major and career options. Staff may also assist you on building your resume, searching for jobs and improving interview skills.


Seek out internships

Internships help you gain experience and build a network of professionals. These internships can be a launching pad into your career.

Stay on track to graduate in four years (or less)

Graduating in four years is possible in most degree programs. If you do, you will avoid paying fees associated with enrolling for additional semesters. You will also have greater earning potential sooner.

Dual credit

Take advantage of dual credit and advanced placement

Check the transferability of courses on our transfer equivalency guide.


Meet with your advisor to create a student educational plan

Make the plan and stay on schedule. Avoid dropping classes.

Summer school

Take summer classes

Summer work can often be completed online at your convenience.

Accelerated master's

Check out our accelerated master’s programs

You can take courses that will apply to both your bachelor’s and master’s degree, saving money and time.

Use campus resources

You’ll have access to many on campus programs and facilities that will save you money.

Health and wellness

Visit Magers Family Health and Wellness Center

Students are not charged for routine visits with a physician. Other medical services are offered at a significantly reduced rate.

Physical fitness

Stay fit, relax and spend time with friends

Your Foster Recreation Center membership is covered by student services fee.

Tutoring help

Take advantage of the Bear CLAW

Find tutoring, writing assistance and other free academic support services.

Tech support

Use on-campus computer resources

You have easy access to open-access labs, Wi-Fi, software downloads, free printing and more.

Events and activities

Enjoy entertainment on campus

Check out free movies, games, lectures, concerts, comedians and musicians. Students are also admitted without charge to most MSU athletic events.