Frequently Asked Questions
We have provided answers to common questions that students have about financing their degrees as part of Stephens' Undergraduate Residential Women’s College. If your question isn’t answered here, our financial aid counselors are always ready to help you navigate your options. Contact us at (573) 876-7106 or [email protected].
Am I eligible for financial aid?
Nearly all Stephens students receive some form of financial aid. Even if you think you aren’t eligible, you might be. The criteria are simple:
- Be accepted and/or enrolled at Stephens in a degree-seeking program.
- Make Satisfactory Academic Progress according to the Stephens SAP policy.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid () and meet FAFSA eligibility guidelines.
In addition to meeting these federal requirements, recipients of state-funded aid programs must be Missouri residents.
What are the various types of financial aid available?
Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment and is available through Stephens College, the State of Missouri, and the federal government. Merit-based financial aid takes into account your academic credentials (i.e. SAT I and ACT scores, and grade point average). Need-based aid takes into account your financial need, which is the difference between the cost of a Stephens education and your Student Aid Index (SAI), as determined by the FAFSA. Various factors affect the SAI, including the size of your family and your family’s income.
How do I apply for financial aid?
To determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive, you must first file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov after Oct. 1 using your last filed income tax returns. In addition, please note that the priority deadline for work study and the Access Missouri Grant is Feb. 1.
Although you don’t have to be accepted at Stephens College before applying for financial aid, you do have to be admitted to Stephens before any financial aid can be awarded.
It will be necessary for you to file a FAFSA each year you are a student at Stephens in order to reapply for financial aid. Even if you are certain you won’t qualify for need-based assistance, it’s a good idea to file the FAFSA so that you may be able to qualify for aid if your financial situation changes.
If you are a graduate or continuing studies student, call us at (800) 876-7207 or email [email protected].
What if my FAFSA is selected for verification?
To make this process as easy as possible, we have established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process. The Verification Gateway from Inceptia is an online portal to guide students and parents through verification.
If your FAFSA application is selected for verification by the U.S Department of Education, you will receive an email from [email protected], or a postcard from Inceptia, containing Stephens College's unique website link to start the verification process.
We encourage you to begin the verification process within 7 days of receiving notification from Verification Gateway to ensure you receive your financial aid in time for payments. Failure to complete the verification process could result in the delay or denial of your financial aid.
Follow these steps to complete your verification:
- Access our school’s unique website link in the email from [email protected] or listed below
- Create your account* and choose preferences for text messages and e-signatures.
- Complete your Task List.
- Confirm your signature and review your information.
- Sign your account.
*If you are a dependent student, your parent also needs to create their own account and complete each of these steps.
2022-2023 Federal Verification: https://stephens.verificationgateway.org
Deadline for submitting these documents is 6/30/2023.
2023-2024 Federal Verification: https://stephens.verificationgateway.org
Deadline for submitting these documents is 9/13/2024.
If you have any questions about the verification process, please contact Inceptia, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. CST at (888) 374-8427 or by email at at [email protected].
How do I apply for outside scholarships, and how do they affect my financial aid award?
Outside scholarships can be found through various sources: parents' employers, large and small corporations, high schools and community resources. These do not affect your financial aid package unless you would exceed the total cost of attendance.
See our list of Outside Scholarships + Resources for help getting started.
You must notify Stephens of all outside scholarship aid received so that the aid may be applied toward meeting your financial need at Stephens. If a reduction in the amount of aid awarded is necessary by federal law, the Office of Financial Aid will first try to reduce self-help aid. Rarely is gift aid reduced as a result of outside scholarships received.
What is the difference between gift aid and self-help aid?
Gift aid includes scholarships, awards and grants that do not have to be repaid. Self-help aid includes loans, which need to be repaid, and student employment for which the student earns funds to be used for education costs.
What if my financial situation changes?
Please contact the Financial Aid Office at (573) 876-7106 or [email protected].
What can I do if my parents are unable to help pay for my education?
Please review our information on Special and Unusual Circumstances.
What happens if I withdraw from school?
Please see the Refund, Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds policy which is also published on our Consumer + Student Disclosure Information page.
What grade point average do I need to maintain?
Students need to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to receive any financial aid. Merit scholarships require students to maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
Does Stephens participate in tuition exchange programs?
Yes. Stephens participates in two exchange programs. Students who are dependents of employees of other colleges in the exchange programs might be able to attend Stephens at discounted tuition rates. Learn more about the Council of Independent Colleges Tuition Exchange Program and about the Tuition Exchange.