Missouri Student Grants for College

Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money

The state of Missouri has delegated responsibility for managing its student financial aid to an agency called the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE), which sets aid policy and administers individual grant programs. Missouri currently designates four types of monetary gift (discussed below) as grants, and also lists three similar programs not labeled either as grants or scholarships.

Grants From MDHE

Advanced Placement Incentive Grantmissouri college grants

The Advanced Placement Incentive Grant is a companion award for students receiving money from two other state programs, Access Missouri and A+ Scholarship. As the name suggests, these grants depend on your performance on Advanced Placement examinations. You must score at least a three on two of the following subjects: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C, or Statistics.

If you meet criteria for Access Missouri and A+ Scholarship funding but your award is calculated at $0, you may still qualify for an Advanced Placement Incentive Grant. Grants are given to graduating high school seniors, each one brings $500, and they are not renewable.

Public Service Officer or Employee’s Child Survivor Grant Program

The Public Service Officer or Employee’s Child Survivor Grant Program also has a descriptive title, since these grants are for officers and their dependents. Specifically, here are the eligible classes of student:

  • Public safety officer invalided from duty because of injury sustained on the job. The resulting disability must be permanent and total.
  • Spouse of such an officer.
  • Child of such an officer, including natural children, stepchildren, and adopted children. Children of Missouri Department of Transportation employees killed or disabled during highway work also qualify.

In addition, there is a list of detailed criteria found on the website, including age limit (24), enrollment (full-time), and legal status (you must be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident and a Missouri resident). The amount of your grant will be equivalent to either your school’s full-time tuition, or the amount you would be charged for the same course of study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, whichever is less.

Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant Program

The Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant Program restricts eligibility to the children and spouses of Vietnam veterans who died due to chemical exposure during the war. The relevant period of service is between 1961 and 1972, and the deceased veteran must qualify as a Missouri resident both at the time of death and at the beginning of military service.

Students are required to attend school full-time, meet the satisfactory academic progress standard, seek a degree in fields other than theology or divinity, and remain under the lifetime limits for attendance (that is, no bachelors degree and less than 150 credit hours earned). The maximum number of semesters for which you can receive a Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant is 10, and only 12 grants are disbursed every year.

Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program

A similar program called the Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program also covers children and spouses of those veterans killed or disabled in combat since September 11, 2001. Deaths or injuries caused by an illness that occurred during combat service qualify, and disabilities must be certified at or above 80%. The Missouri Veterans Commission is responsible for determining a veteran’s eligibility.

Student eligibility includes the following criteria:

  • For spouses, marriage at the date of death.
  • For children, age of less than 25 plus status as the veteran’s dependent on the date of death.

Half-time enrollment is acceptable, and as many as 25 grants are distributed annually. The tuition amount of the grant is like that of the Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant, but there is also a living allowance and a textbook allowance (maximums of $2,000 and $500, respectively).

Other Financial Aid From MDHE

The state of Missouri currently hands out college funding in not only grants and scholarships, but through three programs designated as neither. Here is a list from MDHE:

  • The Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program is based on financial need as calculated using your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If the amount your family can contribute (that is, using the federal formula for the Expected Family Contribution) is less than $12,000, you should investigate this possibility.
  • The complementary Bright Flight Program is awarded due to academic merit. If your college entrance examination score (ACT or SAT) falls into either the top 3% or the top fourth and fifth percentiles for Missouri test-takers, explore this funding option.
  • The Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program assists academically outstanding students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in environmental studies. You must belong to one of the following ethnic groups: African American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan or Hawaiian Native, or Pacific Islander.


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