Frequently Asked Questions

Scholarship Office Frequently Asked Questions


We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions received by the Scholarship Office. The answers provided below are based on 2023-24 scholarship guidelines. This information is subject to change. If you have questions regarding this information, please reach out to us by phone (270-809-3225) or by email msu.scholarships@murraystate.edu.


General


When/where will the scholarship application be available?

The application for competitive University scholarships will be available online beginning September 1st. You can login directly to the Scholarship Manager portal to access the application, or follow the instructions below to access it through myGate. 

  1. Login to myGate
  2. Navigate to the "Financial Aid/Scholarship" tab
  3. Under the "Applications" section select "Apply Online"
  4. Under "My Applications" select the "General Scholarship Application"

Is the application available online only?

Yes. If you do not have access to the Internet at home, the Scholarship Manager portal can be reached from school or your local library. However, please contact us at 800-272-4678 ext. 4 if you have trouble navigating the online application.

When is the deadline for the General Scholarship Application for 2024-2025?

General Scholarship Application for Deadlines for 2024-2025:

  • December 1, 2023 - Presidential Fellowship Competition

  • February 5, 2024 - All incoming and continuing students

  • June 1, 2024 - Non-traditional student and graduate student-specific scholarships

For the best chance of receiving competitive awards, we advise all students to submit their scholarship applications by the February 5, 2024 deadline.

Do I have to apply for admission?

Yes. You need to apply for admission, and be admitted, in order to have access to the scholarship application. This process needs to be completed before the General Scholarship Application for 2024-2025 deadline. 

What additional materials do I need to apply for scholarships?

Some scholarships may require additional information/documentation (i.e. recommendations, short answer essay questions, etc.). If additional information/documentation is required, it will be indicated on the scholarship application.

When will I know if I have received a scholarship?

All competitive scholarship recipients will be notified via email. The notification will be sent to your assigned Murray State email address by mid-March. Non-traditional and graduate student-specific scholarships will be awarded and notified following the June 1, 2024 application deadline. 

Do I have to declare a major to be eligible for scholarships?

No. However, you will not be considered for any departmental scholarships that require declaration of specific majors.

How do I notify Murray State if I have received an external scholarship?

If you have received an external scholarship award, you must report that information to Murray State by completing the External Scholarship Notification Form.  You will need to complete a new External Scholarship Notification Form for each external scholarship you receive. Please send external scholarship checks to the address below:

Bursar's Office
Attn:  External Scholarships
200 Sparks Hall
Murray, KY 42071

Are there any scholarships that I can apply for after my freshman year at Murray State?

Students are encouraged to complete the General Scholarship Application each academic year. You will not be eligible for competitive scholarships if you do not submit the General Scholarship Application.

I have been offered a larger scholarship package from another institution. Can Murray State University match the funds I am promised by other schools?

Students receive awards based on various factors, including their application status, academic achievements, leadership experience, and other criteria set by the university. Scholarship awards are determined based on a student's standing within Murray State's scholarship applicant pool and the financial resources available to the university.

While Murray State doesn't provide exact dollar-for-dollar matching of scholarship offers from other institutions, we strongly advise students to reach out to the Scholarship Office for a thorough assessment of their scholarship offer.

Is there an over-award policy?

Purpose:

 

The Financial Aid Overaward Policy at Murray State University is designed to ensure fair and equitable distribution of financial aid resources to eligible students. An overaward occurs when a student receives financial aid in excess of their demonstrated financial need or the maximum aid allowed by federal or institutional regulations.


Definitions:

 

EFC (Expected Family Contribution):

Your EFC is an index number used by colleges to determine your eligibility for financial aid. It is calculated based on a formula established by law and the information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


COA (Cost of Attendance):

Your COA represents the estimated total cost of attending school.  It includes:

    • Tuition and fees
    • Room and board (or living expenses if not contracted with the school)
    • Books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses
    • Allowance for child care or dependent care
    • Costs related to a disability (if applicable)
    • Reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs (if applicable)

Financial Need:  

Financial Need is calculated by subtracting your EFC from your COA. It represents the gap between the cost of attending school and your expected family contribution. Financial Need is used to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid.


Need-Based Aid:  

Need-based aid refers to financial aid that you can receive if you demonstrate financial
need and meet other eligibility criteria. The amount of need-based aid you receive cannot exceed your calculated financial need.

 


Policy Guidelines:

 

Maximum Aid Threshold:

  1. The total amount of financial aid a student can receive - including all scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans - may not exceed the
    cost of attendance (COA) determined by the university.
  2. The Financial Aid Office will review each student's
    financial aid package to ensure compliance with the maximum aid threshold.
  3. If a student's aid exceeds the maximum allowable amount, adjustments will be made to bring the aid package within the allowable limits.

 

Types of Overawards:

  1. Federal Overaward: Occurs when a student's combined federal aid (e.g., Pell Grant, Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans) exceeds their demonstrated financial need or the maximum federal aid allowed.
  2. Institutional Overaward: Occurs when a student's combined institutional aid (e.g., scholarships, grants) exceeds their demonstrated financial need or the maximum institutional aid allowed.
  3. Total Overaward: Occurs when the sum of federal and
    institutional aid exceeds the student's demonstrated financial need or the maximum allowable aid.

 

Resolution of Overawards:

  1. Student Financial Services will monitor and identify overawards in accordance with federal and state regulations and institutional policy.
  2. Students are responsible for promptly notifying the Student Financial Services Office of any external financial aid or scholarship resources received or expected (e.g. tuition waivers, third-party scholarships).
  3. To resolve overawards, the Student Financial Services Office will follow a sequential process that adheres to institutional policy.

 

Communication and Notification:

  1. Murray State University will communicate the Financial Aid Overaward Policy to students during the financial aid awarding process.
  2. Students will be notified promptly if an overaward is identified and informed about the necessary actions Student Financial Services took to resolve the overaward situation.
  3. Student Financial Services will provide guidance and support to students throughout the overaward resolution process.


Academic Achievement Scholarships


Are international students considered for Academic Achievement Scholarships at Murray State University?

No, international students are not considered for the Academic Achievement awards at Murray State University. Students are encouraged to submit the General Scholarship Application to apply for competitive awards.

Students should also look at our International Students Scholarship Page[BROKEN LINK] for additional scholarship opportunities to help fund their education.

I was offered a Murray State freshman Academic Achievement Scholarship last fall, but decided to attend another university. I would now like to transfer to Murray State. Can I still receive my previous scholarship offer?

Unfortunately, we are not able to re-award past scholarship offers. Attendance at another post-secondary institution of higher education - after high school graduation - reclassifies a student as a Transfer Student per university guidelines. As such, Transfer Students are not eligible to receive new freshmen awards, although you may meet the requirements to receive one of our Transfer Scholarships.

I am a 1Kentucky Governor's School participant and I plan to transfer from/to Murray State University. Can my scholarship transfer to Murray State?

1(Governor's Scholars Program (GSP) / Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) / Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE))

Unfortunately, we are not able to re-award past scholarship offers. Attendance at another post-secondary institution of higher education - after high school graduation - reclassifies a student as a Transfer Student per university guidelines. As such, Transfer Students are not eligible to receive new freshmen awards such as the GSP/GSA/GSE, although you may meet the requirements to receive one of our Transfer Scholarships.

Which ACT and SAT scores are considered for academic scholarships?

Eligibility for Academic Achievement Scholarship consideration is based on the highest ACT composite or SAT math and evidence-based reading and writing (M+EBRW) total score. Combined scores, also known as a superscore, from two or more tests will not be considered for scholarship awards.

If I retake the ACT or SAT and my scores increase, can I be reconsidered for academic scholarships?

Yes, we will accept updated test scores and GPA for incoming first-time freshmen through August 14, 2023. Official transcripts and test scores should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. (msu.admissions@murraystate.edu) or (800-272-4678 ext. 4).

What type of GPA is used for academic scholarship consideration?

For Academic Achievement and competitive scholarship consideration, we consider a weighted or unweighted (whichever is higher) GPA on a 4.0 scale. Revisions to academic and competitive scholarships may be made based upon receipt of final high school transcript.

What if I am off on one (or both) of the criteria by only 10 points or .01 GPA?

Students must meet both the minimum ACT/SAT score and GPA requirements to be considered. There is no flexibility in meeting the minimum requirements.

Are transfer students considered for academic scholarships?

New Transfer Students are eligible for our Transfer Scholarships provided they meet the requirements. Readmitted Transfer Students (i.e. students that previously attended Murray State and are transferring back from another institution) are not eligible to receive our Transfer Scholarships. They are, however, encouraged to apply for competitive scholarships through the General Scholarship Application.

Will students who graduate early (December) from high school and then begin college the following spring semester (a few weeks later) be considered for academic scholarships?

Yes, students admitted to the spring semester are eligible to receive new freshmen Academic Achievement awards. Academic Achievement awards are valid for eight consecutive semesters, or until the conferment of your first degree.

Why was my academic scholarship amount reduced?

Student Financial Services must actively monitor and modify students' financial aid awards, which includes institutional scholarships, to ensure there are no instances of overawarding or overpayments. This is done to adhere to federal, state, and institutional regulations. A student's non-refundable institutional scholarship (e.g. Academic Achievement, Presidential Fellowship, Marvin D. Mills, etc.) can be reduced if the student's account is in overaward status, or if the student's account has gift aid that exceeds the current charges.

  1. Overaward Policy - Please see the FAQ question above titled "Is there an over-award policy?" to get a full breakdown on the definition of Murray State's overaward policy.

  2. Gift Aid Exceeding Charges - If this scholarship, when combined with any federal, state, or private need-based or non-need-based awards, results in there being more gift aid than charges on the account, then any non-refundable institutional scholarship will be reduced to bring the account into balance according to Murray State University policy. In the event that this occurs, the Murray State Scholarship Office will contact the student to discuss any options that may be available to the student when a reduction occurs. 

Do I need to be enrolled full-time in order to receive my Academic Achievement Scholarship?

Yes, students must be enrolled full-time at Murray State University (12 undergraduate credit hours or greater) during all semesters.

Students must earn (complete and pass) 24 or more credit hours per academic year (August-May). Concurrent enrollment will not count towards full-time status, nor will it count towards the required 24 earned hours per academic year.

What if I graduate early from Murray State and do not use all eight (8) semesters of my Academic Achievement Scholarship?

Academic Achievement Scholarships are renewable for four consecutive years (eight semesters), or until the bachelor's degree is obtained, whichever occurs first. If a student graduates before using the full eight semesters, the scholarship is considered fully utilized.

I am a current Murray State student receiving an Academic Achievement Scholarship. I will be co-oping, studying abroad, or completing an internship next semester, how will that affect my academic scholarship?

Co-op/Internship - Students who have elected to participate in a co-op or internship program may request to defer their scholarships for use in a future semester.

Study Abroad - In many cases Academic Achievement Scholarships can be applied towards eligible study abroad program charges. For more information regarding specific programs contact the Education Abroad Office and Student Financial Services regarding your intent to study abroad.

I plan to enroll in an Accelerated Graduate Program (4+1). May I still receive my renewable undergraduate scholarship while taking graduate level courses?

Yes, students can still utilize their Academic Achievement Scholarships for graduate level courses as long as they are classified as an undergraduate student through an Accelerated Graduate Program (4+1). Academic Achievement Scholarships cannot exceed a maximum of eight semesters.


Scholarship Renewal


What are the renewal requirements for my scholarship?


Presidential Fellowship

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 3.2 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • Participate in Honors College

National Merit Scholarship

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 3.2 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • Participate in Honors College

Marvin D. Mills Scholarship

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • >Complete Mills Multicultural Center requirements
  • Participate in the Emerging Scholars Institute

Gold Diversity Scholarship

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • Complete Mills Multicultural Center requirements
  • >Participate in the Emerging Scholars Institute

Blue Diversity Scholarship

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • Complete Mills Multicultural Center requirements
  • Participate in the Emerging Scholars Institute

GSA / GSP / GSE

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Commonwealth Honors Academy

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Trustee | Regents | Provost | Carr | University | Deans | Opportunity Scholarships

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Transfer Scholarship Tier 1

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Transfer Scholarship Tier 2

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Transfer Scholarship Tier 3

  • Must enroll full-time (12 credit hours or greater each semester)
  • 24 earned hours required for academic year
  • 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA required

Will my summer grades count toward my cumulative GPA for scholarship renewal purposes?

Scholarship eligibility is checked at the end of each spring term. Any courses taken during the summer intersession will not count toward your cumulative GPA for scholarship purposes until the close of the following spring term.

Will my winter intersession grades and hours count for scholarship renewal purposes?

Scholarship eligibility is checked at the end of each spring term. Any courses taken during the winter intersession will count toward your cumulative GPA and credit hour enrollment requirement for scholarship purposes at the close of the spring term.

What if I did not meet the renewal requirements for my Academic Achievement Scholarship?

The Scholarship Office performs an audit of student accounts at the end of the spring semester to determine scholarship renewal eligibility. If a student does not meet the renewal requirements, they will be given the opportunity to submit an appeal application. An email will be sent following the conclusion of the spring semester audit with instructions on how to complete the appeal application.

What if I lost my scholarship eligibility, can I earn it back at a later date if my GPA improves or if I am full-time?

Scholarships that have been removed due to not meeting the renewal requirements cannot be reinstated at a later date. For more information regarding the appeal process, see below.


Award Notification


How will I be notified if I have received a scholarship?

Academic Achievement Scholarships are awarded to students based on their admissions criterion. Students will receive an offer in the mail and by email once eligibility is determined.

Competitive scholarship notifications will be sent to student's Murray State email address by mid-March.

How do I accept my academic scholarship once I am awarded?

Once you have been notified that you have received a scholarship, you can go to Scholarship Manager to login and accept your award. Otherwise, the instructions are listed below:

1. Login to myGate
2. Navigate to the Financial Aid/Scholarship tab
3. Under "Awards" - select "Accept MSU Scholarships"
4. Select "Login Here"
5. Select "My Awards" and choose accept by any outstanding offers.

 

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