Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)

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 MTAG 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 Freshman:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application
  • Have a high school cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale or GED certificate (submit copy of GED test scores and GED certificate) or completion of Home School program (submit signed transcript of 9th through 12th grades)
  • Have scored a minimum of a 15 on the National ACT
  • Be accepted and enrolled full-time at an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi
  • Receive less than the full Federal Pell Grant as determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid uses the latest version of the results of the FAFSA process to determine an applicant’s Pell Grant eligibility.
  • Must be pursuing first certificate, first associate or first bachelors degree

Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: MTAG_RR2013

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 of a 2.50 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.
  • Receive less than the full Federal Pell Grant as determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid uses the latest version of the results of the FAFSA process to determine an applicant’s Pell Grant eligibility.
  • Must be pursuing first certificate, first associate or first bachelors degree

Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: MTAG_RR2013

Award Amount
MTAG awards may be up to $500.00 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 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 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 MTAG 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 MTAG 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?
    Continuing eligibility for MTAG will be evaluated at the end of each semester/trimester of the regular academic year. This evaluation includes grade point average (2.5) and continuous full-time enrollment.
  6. I’M ENROLLING IN A VOCATIONAL OR TECHNICAL COURSE OF STUDY. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR MTAG?
    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.
  7. MY ACT SCORE IS 15 (OR BETTER) BUT MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADE POINT AVERAGE IS LESS THAN 2.5. WILL I BE ELIGIBLE FOR MTAG AFTER ATTENDING COLLEGE AND ESTABLISHING A 2.5 GPA ON COLLEGE COURSE WORK? IF MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADE POINT AVERAGE IS 2.5 (OR BETTER) BUT MY ACT SCORE IS BELOW 15, WILL I EVER BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR MTAG?
    The answer to both questions is “Yes”; however, MTAG awards are made annually therefore when a student has a college grade point average of 2.5 (or better) after one regular academic year and meets all other eligibility criteria, that student would be eligible to apply.
  8. 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 and pay for, without 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 grade point average is improved to the required minimum.
  9. IS MTAG AVAILABLE TO ME FOR SUMMER SCHOOL?
    No. MTAG is available during the regular academic year only.
  10. MY MTAG AWARD WAS CANCELLED 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.  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. MY REMAINING MTAG AWARD WAS CANCELLED BECAUSE MY FALL SEMESTER CUMULATIVE  GPA REPORTED BY MY INSTITUTION WAS BELOW THE REQUIRED 2.5. DUE TO GRADE CHANGES MY CUMULATIVE GPA IS NOW 2.5 OR BETTER.  WHAT MUST I DO TO GET MY MTAG?
    We must receive an official transcript from the institution that you attended fall semester.  This transcript 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.
  12. MY SCHOOL DOES NOT OFFER AN ADEQUATE COURSE SELECTION FOR SUTDENTS TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CORE CURRICULUM.  CAN ANY OF THE REQUIREMENTS BE WAIVED?  
    No, but your students do have options.  The language and fine arts credits are the most cumbersome for smaller schools with fewer resources.  Students may take music, band, theatre, dance, etc. in place of the 2 art classes or the Fine Arts Class. Also, Visual Arts IV (AP class) is also accepted in place of the Fine Arts requirement.  To meet the language requirement, students may take courses online via theMississippiVirtualPublicHigh School.
  13. I HEARD THAT IF A STUDENT CAN’T MEET THE CORE CURRICULUM, HE OR SHE CAN APPLY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP AFTER COMPLETING ONE YEAR OF COLLEGE AND THE CURRICULUM REQUIREMENT WILL BE WAIVED.  IS THAT TRUE? 
    Yes.  Applicants must apply for the HELP scholarship within one year of high school graduation.  Therefore, students can apply after the freshman year, provided they meet ALL other requirements (GPA, ACT score, income limitations, etc.).
  14. DO MY STUDENTS HAVE TO HAVE COMPLETED THE CORE CURRICULUM BEFORE THE MARCH 31 DEADLINE? 
    No.  Students must be enrolled and must complete the core curriculum before the end of the spring semester.  The core curriculum may not be completed through courses taken in summer school following the student’s senior year.
  15. HOW DO I SUBMIT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO THE OFFICE OF STUDENT FINANCIAL AID?
    How to Submit Supporting Documents

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