Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)

Program Overview
Created by the Mississippi Legislature this program is designed to provide financial aid assistance to Mississippi residents attending state approved public and nonprofit two-year and four-year eligible colleges and universities. The primary objective of the MESG is to provide educational opportunities for students who wish to pursue post secondary education in the state.

Important Dates
Application Dates:  January 1 – September 15
Supporting Documents Deadline:  October 15

Eligibility Requirements for Entering Freshmen

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to high school or Home School completion
  • Have a high school cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale (Home School applicants must provide official transcript of 9th through 12th grades.)
  • Have scored a minimum of a 29 on the National ACT or minimum score of 1290 on the SAT or National Merit or National Achievement Finalist or Semi-Finalist
  • Be accepted and enrolled full-time at an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi
  • Must be pursuing first certificate, first associate or first bachelors degree

Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: MESG_RR2013

Eligibility Requirements for Students Currently Enrolled in College

  • Meet all the eligibility requirements of the entering freshman
  • Have a minimum of a 3.50 cumulative college grade point average
  • Attend an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi
  • Enroll and complete full-time enrollment each semester. Full-time enrollment is 12 hours per semester or 9 hours per trimester. NOTE: Only courses classified as “undergraduate” courses by the institution, will be counted towards the total number of hours needed to qualify as a full-time undergraduate student.  Hours taken in graduate level courses cannot be counted towards undergraduate enrollment.  Courses must be term-bound.  Some correspondence and independent study courses may not be accepted.
  • Must be pursuing first certificate, first associate or first bachelors degree

Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: MESG_RR2013

Award Amount
MESG awards may be up to $2,500.00 per academic year, but may not exceed tuition and required fees.

Maximum Length of Eligibility
A recipient may receive this grant up to 8 semesters (12 trimesters) or degree completion which ever comes first.

To Apply

  1. Complete the online application. This online application must be completed each academic year whether you are a prior recipient or a first-time applicant.
  2. Submit the following supporting documents:
  • Signed copy of the first two pages of parent’s State Tax Return for the current tax filing year. Independent students would provide signed copy of student’s State Tax Return.  Am I dependent or independent?
  • Copy of Mississippi driver’s license, unless you elected to submit it electronically during the online applicationNOTE: Our office receives processed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results electronically for all Mississippi residents. If possible, the state tax return or Mississippi driver’s license pending document will be replaced by the FAFSA results.

How to Submit Supporting Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. WHAT IF I HAVE TO WITHDRAW FROM SCHOOL DURING A SEMESTER?
    A student must maintain continuous full-time enrollment of not less than two semesters or three trimesters in 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.
  2. 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.
  3. WHY MUST I REAPPLY FOR MESG 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.
  4. WHY MUST I SIGN OFF ON THE STATEMENT OF CERTIFICATION AS PART OF THE MESG APPLICATION PROCESS?
    Additionally, 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 carefully on web application prior to checking that you have read and understand the certification statement.
  5. IS MY GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) CHECKED AT THE END OF EACH SEMESTER OR AT THE END OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR? BESIDES MY GPA, WHAT ELSE IS CHECKED?
    The grade point average of MESG recipients will be reviewed at the end of the fall semester/trimester; however, continuing eligibility for MESG will be determined annually at the end of the spring semester/trimester. MESG recipients will be monitored for continuous full-time enrollment at the end of each semester/trimester.
  6. I’M ENROLLING IN A VOCATIONAL OR TECHNICAL COURSE OF STUDY. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR MESG?
    Yes. The legislation governing MESG 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. The student must meet the high school GPA and ACT score also.
  7. MY ACT SCORE IS 29 (or better) BUT MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADE POINT AVERAGE IS LESS THAN 3.5. WILL I BE ELIGIBLE FOR MESG AFTER ATTENDING COLLEGE AND ESTABLISHING A 3.5 GPA ON COLLEGE COURSE WORK? IF MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADE POINT AVERAGE IS 3.5 (or better) BUT MY ACT SCORE IS BELOW 29, WILL I EVER BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR MESG?
    The answer to both questions is no. MESG recipients must qualify as a high school senior meeting both the ACT score of 29 or better and high school GPA of 3.5 or better.
  8. I HAVE LOST ELIGIBILITY FOR MESG. HOW CAN I REGAIN ELIGIBILITY?
    If a student loses MESG eligibility due to less than full-time enrollment status, that student must attend and pay for, without benefit of MESG 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 MESG eligibility due to having less than a 3.5 cumulative GPA that student will regain eligibility when the cumulative grade point average is improved to the required minimum.
  9. IS MESG AVAILABLE TO ME FOR SUMMER SCHOOL?
    No. MESG is available during the regular academic year.
  10. My MESG award was cancelled because my institution reported that I was not enrolled fulltime.  Can the MESG award be reinstated?
    Yes, your MESG 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.  Fall term is October 15, Winter term is January 15, 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.
  11. HOW DO I SUBMIT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO THE MISSISSIPPI OFFICE OF STUDENT FINANCIAL AID?
    How to Submit Supporting Documents

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