19 Resources Mississippi Residents Should Know About Paying for College
Finding the funds for your college education can be stressful, especially if you don’t know where to start. The good news for Mississippi residents is that several statewide and nationwide programs exist to help you fund your post-secondary education—and you may be eligible for more financial aid than you think.
In fact, depending on where you live, Mississippi residents may be able to attend community college for free. This is because of Mississippi’s Community College Guarantee Program, which offers residents of specific counties free tuition at eligible community colleges throughout the state.
Additionally, many public and private organizations in Mississippi offer a range of scholarships and grants for residents based on merit, interest, and economic background.
What kinds of financial aid are you eligible for, and what can you do to apply? We’ll walk you through the steps every Mississippi student should take to fund a college education.
Step 1: Apply for Federal Funding
The FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the first benchmark of your financial aid journey.
This form is used across the nation to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility, and the form itself can qualify you for potential grants and scholarships.
After submitting the FAFSA, you’ll automatically be evaluated for eligibility for:
- Federal grants
- Federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans
- Some state grants
- Some types of financial aid that offered directly through the college you plan to attend
The FAFSA is a long form to fill out, so students are often tempted to delay completing it. We’ll give you a fair warning, however; it is best to complete it as soon as possible because some scholarships and grants have early deadlines.
If you experience any trouble with the FAFSA, check out the helpful guide we’ve created to answer any questions you may have about the process.
Step 2: Apply for State Funding and Scholarships
The FAFSA can qualify you for some governmental aid, but the state of Mississippi offers residents additional resources that you should apply for, too.
Mississippi’s Finish in 4 Campaign is a state-run initiative that helps students attend, and graduate from, Mississippi colleges and universities. The program aims to get Mississippi residents in and out of college in four years, and those who adhere with the program will be eligible for most Mississippi funded grants and scholarships.
We’ve listed a few below, but be sure to check out Mississippi’s education website to view the full list of options.
Mississippi scholarships include:
Mississippi grants include:
Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG) for high-achieving high school students pursuing a degree at eligible two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Step 3: Apply for Institutional, Local, and National Scholarships
Not all scholarships and grants are funded by the state or national government, so it’s a good idea to look for private, or local aid money as well.
Internet searches can help you uncover several of these opportunities. Get2College.org offers scholarships specifically for Mississippi residents.
If you’re a current high school student, schedule regular appointments with your guidance counselors to stay informed on financial aid opportunities near you. Try setting reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget to schedule an appointment.
Some other scholarship resources that you might want to check out include:
Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search, a database of constantly updated scholarships
Step 4: Apply for a Private Loan
If you’ve completed steps one through three without getting all the financial aid you need, don’t give up just yet. A private loan is another way to fund your tuition that may be able to make up the difference you need to pay for a college education.
Click here to see the best banks for a private student loans.
We want you to take out the best private loan for your situation, so check out our free NitroScore tool to get a better idea of the size of loan you need, and which of our highly vetted loan partners can offer you the best rate.
Using the tool is simple! Enter a college and major into the boxes to find out your total costs, your salary after graduation, and potential loans needed. The tool will then generate a score that tells you how easy those loans will be to repay based on your projected salary.
Mess around with your results by entering info about scholarships, grants and savings, and compare different college/major combinations.
Start planning for your financial aid journey today!