How Will You Pay for College?

Are you worried about paying for college? You are not alone. Paying tuition and fees is one of the most intimidating parts of attending college, but it does not have to be overwhelming. With smart planning and a little bit of creativity, anyone can work toward affording their degree. Whether you are already enrolled or still in high school trying to figure out how to make your dream a reality, we are here to help you navigate through financial aid.

Mustangs Guarantee

Are you a first-time student, Texas resident, Pell Grant eligible, and have a family combined annual adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less?

If so, the Mustangs Guarantee will cover the remaining balance of your tuition of 12+ credit hours each semester (minimum 30 hours earned each academic year) for up to four years.

One of the four mustangs representing the student's academic journey from freshman to senior year, at the Spirit of the Mustangs statue located near Centennial Hall.

Expand Your Financial Aid Package

One of the best ways to reduce your out-of-pocket college costs is to diversify your financial aid package. The more money you are able to secure through scholarships, grants, and work-study, the less reliant on student loans you will need to be.

That said, if student loans are in your future, we encourage you to learn more about responsible borrowing and about the many loan forgiveness options that exist.

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Military & Veteran Benefits

Are you serving or have you served in the military? Are you a dependent of a veteran or active-duty service member?

Connect with the MSU Texas Veterans Affairs office to make sure you are completing the necessary forms to utilize the benefits you have earned.

Work as You Learn

Whether you plan to work full time or on a part-time basis as you earn your degree, we have resources to help you find meaningful employment.
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Work Study
at MSU Texas

Juggling a full-time course load alongside a part-time job can be a challenge, but it does not have to be. If you qualify for work study, you can enjoy:

  • the convenience of working on campus.
  • a work schedule that works around your class schedule.
  • working with the friendly staff and faculty at MSU Texas!

We encourage you to fill out your FAFSA early to see if you qualify for work study!

Student Employment

Are you ineligible for work study? There are other student employment opportunities across campus.

On-campus and off-campus employment opportunities can be found on MustangsHIRE.

Co-Ops & Internships

Getting an internship or co-op is a great way to gain meaningful experiences, connect with a future employer, and earn money. While not all internships are paid, a growing number are.

Connect with the Internship program at the Career Management Center to learn more.

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MustangsHIRE Connects You with Your Future Job!

Note to new students: You will have access to MustangsHIRE a week after you have registered for classes.

Check Out Additional Resources

Employer Assistance Programs

Some employers offer tuition assistance benefits to their employees to help offset college costs. If you think your place of employment may offer such benefits, we encourage you to connect with your human resources department or supervisor to learn more about such opportunities.

Exemptions & Waivers

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has information for those who may qualify for exemptions and waivers. Inquire with the THECB to determine if you are eligible for such programs.

Book Loans

You may qualify to apply for a book loan if your financial aid refund check is less than $1,000 or if you are not receiving financial aid but still need help in order to afford your textbooks for the semester.

(Note: The following link will have application information available only during the time we are accepting applications.)

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Explore Payment Plans

Payment plans, or Emergency Tuition and Fee Loans (ETFL), are short-term loans available to you that allow you to pay your tuition and fee expenses over the course of the semester.

This is a great option for students who want to avoid taking out federal student loans and stay on top of covering their college expenses in real time.

These loans are administered through the MSU Texas Business Office.

Ways to Pay for College FAQs

What is the difference between grants, scholarships, and loans?

In the simplest terms:

  • Grants: Qualify for aid based on financial need. No need to repay. Available from government or institutions.
  • Scholarships: Earn aid based on achievements, talents, or involvement. No repayment required. Offered by university or organizations.
  • Student Loans: Consider as an option; separate from grants/scholarships. Repayment and interest involved. Obtain from government or private lenders. Understand terms and responsibilities before borrowing.

Can I receive financial aid if I am an international student?

While you do not qualify for financial aid, you may be eligible for scholarships. Scholarships that are available to you can be found on the International Student Services Scholarships page.

Can I receive financial aid if I am enrolled part-time?

Yes, some financial aid sources will still pay out to those enrolled part-time — including the Federal Pell Grant and student loans — but your cost of attendance will be adjusted to account for the reduced need.

It is important to review your renewal and eligibility requirements before reducing your enrollment status below full time. Please speak to a financial aid counselor prior to making this decision to see how your financial aid package will be impacted.

How is financial need determined and what factors are considered?

Your financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance at MSU Texas (COA) and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The cost of attendance is the total estimated expenses that you can anticipate during your academic year at a college or university. It covers various aspects, including direct costs like tuition, fees, and on-campus housing, as well as indirect expenses such as textbooks, supplies, transportation, and personal needs.

Your Expected Family Contribution is the amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your cost of attendance. This is calculated by the federal government and is based on your FAFSA responses.

Are there any deadlines for financial aid and, if so, what happens if I miss them?

There are priority deadlines that you should aim to meet. These are March 1 for those wishing to start in the fall or summer, and October 1 for those planning to start classes in the spring.

You are able to submit your financial applications up until August 15 for the fall term, December 15 for the spring term or April 15 for summer terms. But please note that all financial aid is limited and you may miss out on receiving all that you would have qualified for had you submitted your application by the priority date.

Drop In or Call
No scheduled appointment is necessary.

We are located in the Hardin Administration Building (South Wing), Room 102.
(Building 24 on the Campus Map)
Campus Map