MTAG – Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant
Created by the Mississippi Legislature, this program is designed to provide financial assistance to Mississippi residents attending state approved public and private not-for-profit two-year and four-year eligible colleges and universities. The primary objective of MTAG is to provide educational opportunities for students who wish to pursue postsecondary education in the state and do not already benefit from federal need-based aid.
Rules and Regulations:
Application Dates: October 1 – September 15
Supporting Documents Deadline: October 15 (following September 15 application deadline)
Eligibility Requirements for Entering Freshman:
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application
- Graduate from high school with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or earn a high school equivalency diploma (submit a copy of GED or equivalent test scores and GED or equivalent certificate) or complete a Home School program (submit a signed transcript of 9th through 12th grades)
- Score a minimum of a 15 on the National ACT
- Enroll full-time at an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi in a program of study leading to a first certificate, first associate’s, or first bachelor’s degree
- Be eligible for less than the full Federal Pell Grant as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid uses the most recent FAFSA transaction to determine an applicant’s Pell Grant eligibility
Eligibility Requirements for Students Currently Enrolled in College:
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application
- Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative college GPA on at least 12 completed hours
- Attend an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi in a program of study leading to a first certificate, first associate’s, or first bachelor’s degree
- Enroll full-time and maintain full-time enrollment (complete with passing grades) each semester. Full-time enrollment is 15 hours per semester or 9 hours per trimester.
- Be eligible for less than the full Federal Pell Grant as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid uses the most recent FAFSA transaction to determine an applicant’s Pell Grant eligibility.
MTAG awards up to $500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores and $1,000 per academic year for juniors and seniors.
Maximum Length of Eligibility:
A recipient may receive MTAG for up to 8 semesters (12 trimesters) or degree completion, whichever comes first.
- Complete the online application. The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
- Submit required supporting documents. New applicants and some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment will be required to submit two forms of residency documentation:
Preferred Residency Documents:
- Mississippi driver’s license (can be submitted electronically during the online application)
Alternate Residency Documents Accepted:
- State Tax Return (NOT Federal) for the current tax filing year. Dependent students would provide a signed copy of the first two pages of the parent’s return. Independent students would provide a signed copy of the student’s return. Am I dependent or independent?
- Homestead Exemption
- Voter Registration
- Vehicle Registration
Note: Our office receives FAFSA results electronically for all Mississippi residents. When possible, the state tax return or Mississippi driver’s license pending document will be replaced by the FAFSA.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What if I have to withdraw from school during a semester?
A student must maintain continuous full-time enrollment during the fall, winter (for trimester schools only), and spring during each successive academic year, unless granted an exception for cause. Examples of exception for cause may include personal injury or death of an immediate family member, participation in a cooperative program, internship program or foreign study program. If a recipient fails to maintain continuous full-time enrollment, unless granted an exception for cause, that student is ineligible to receive funds during the next semester or trimester of full-time enrollment of a regular academic year. Summer semester enrollment is not considered part of the regular academic year.
- What if I drop below full-time enrollment during a semester?
A student must maintain full-time enrollment. If a student drops below full-time status during a semester or trimester of the academic year, that student is ineligible to receive funds during the next semester or trimester of full-time enrollment of a regular academic year.
- Why must I reapply every year?
Current legislation requires “…the board shall create a renewal application for each student who received the award for one or more terms during the immediately preceding academic year.” At a minimum, a student must file the following renewal document no later than the close of business on the deadline date: online application.
- Why must I sign off on the Statements of Certification as part of the application process?
Additionally, the legislation states that “…Each student, each year, must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form or a Statement of Certification as designed by the administering board to determine his/her eligibility…”. The Statement of Certification was developed as an alternative to the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for those students and parents who feel that they will not qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Be sure to read the certification statements carefully on the web application.
- Is my GPA checked at the end of each semester or at the end of the academic year? Besides my GPA, what else is checked?
Continuing eligibility for MTAG will be evaluated at the end of each semester/trimester of the regular academic year. Cumulative grades (2.5 required) and continuous full-time enrollment will be evaluated.
- I’m enrolling in a vocational or technical course of study. Am I still eligible?
Yes. The legislation governing MTAG allows students who are enrolling in Vocational or Technical programs to receive MTAG awards if those students meet the entrance requirements of that particular community/junior college and maintain the school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, as certified by the school’s registrar.
- My ACT score is 15 or better, but my high school GPA is less than 2.5. Will I be eligible for MTAG after attending college and establishing a 2.5 GPA on college coursework? If my high school GPA is 2.5 or better but my ACT score is below 15, will I ever be eligible for MTAG?
Yes and yes. MTAG awards are made annually; therefore, when a student has a college GPA of 2.5 (or better) after one regular academic year and meets all other eligibility criteria, that student would be eligible to apply.
- I have lost eligibility for MTAG. How can I regain eligibility?
If a student loses MTAG eligibility due to less than full-time enrollment status, that student must attend, without the benefit of MTAG funds, one full-time semester or trimester during a regular academic year, before regaining eligibility unless an exception for cause has been granted. If a student loses MTAG eligibility due to having less than a 2.5 GPA, that student will regain eligibility when the cumulative GPA is improved to the required minimum.
- Is MTAG available to me for summer school?
No. MTAG is available during the regular academic year only.
- My MTAG award was canceled because my institution reported that I was not enrolled full-time. Can the MTAG award be reinstated.
Yes. Your MTAG award can be reinstated but you must get your institution to submit an official enrollment verification report verifying that you are full-time by the applicable deadline for the term of enrollment. The deadline for Fall term is October 15, for Winter term is January 15, and for Spring term is March 15. Please contact our office prior to these deadlines if there are any unusual circumstances that you feel should be considered.
- My MTAG award for the Spring term was canceled because the institution reported that my Fall semester cumulative GPA was below the required 2.5. Due to grade changes, my cumulative GPA is now 2.5 or better. What must I do to have my award reinstated? Your institution must submit an official grade verification report demonstrating that you earned the minimum required GPA. The grade verification must be received by March 15. Please contact our office prior to this deadline if there are any unusual circumstances that you feel should be considered.
- How do I submit supporting documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid?
How to Submit Supporting Documents