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 Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) 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, awards, grants, loans and student employment and is available through Stephens College, the state 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 expected family contribution (EFC). Various factors affect the EFC, including the size of your family, your family’s income and the number of family members currently enrolled in college.
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?
Your FAFSA information may be selected for verification. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong – a random number of applications are chosen by the Department of Education as process double-check. To make this easier for you, we are pleased to announce that we have established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process using a Verification Gateway online portal.
If your FAFSA application is selected for verification by the U.S Department of Education, you will receive an introductory email to the email address you provided on the FAFSA. If no email was provided, you will receive an introductory postcard. The postcard will have our school logo along with Inceptia’s, so you will know it is official.
Please note the deadline for submitting these documents is August 1. Failure to provide the requested documents could result in the delay or denial of financial aid.
A custom school link will be included in the introductory communication requesting you access Verification Gateway. You will need to do the following*:
- Confirm your identity (authentication).
- Create a secure user name and password.
- Decide if you want to receive text messages and approve to e-sign.
- Access your Action List and begin the verification process (the list may consist of some combination of online forms and the request to upload specific documents to Verification Gateway).
*Dependent students that provided parental information on the FAFSA are required to have one parent also authenticate and create an account. This parent will be required to e-sign or provide an ink signature once all documentation has been submitted.
Upon receipt of all required documents, Inceptia will begin the verification process. Students will be notified if there are any questions or if any additional documentation is required via email, text or postcard. Once verification has been completed, the student and our school will be notified.
If you have any questions about the verification process, please contact Inceptia, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CST at (888) 374-8427 or by email 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?
The federal and state governments expect parents to assist their children when it comes to financing a college education. If there is a gap between the expected family contribution, as determined by the FAFSA, and the actual contribution, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (573) 876-7106 or [email protected].
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.