by Glenn Chambers, Anthony Krolak, Rick Shipman, and Keith Williams

Reimagining Gift Aid at MSU

Each year, approximately $231 million of need-based and non-need-based institutional gift aid is allocated to current MSU students. Those funds directly contribute to the tuition payments of approximately 18,000 students annually.  MSU has embarked on a project to review the impact these annual expenditures have on student success and propose changes to more effectively support students’ persistence and graduation rates through financial aid.  Access and equity are fundamental values in this work.

Some of the key objectives of this review include the following:

  • Identify and describe all MSU sources of gift aid
  • Describe trends over the last ten years in gift aid at MSU
  • Illustrate how gift aid is currently allocated at MSU
  • Analyze the impact of gift aid on student success at MSU as measured by persistence and graduation metrics
  • Analyze the role of gift aid in increasing access to MSU
  • Identify policies, procedures, and norms that need to be reexamined to deploy MSU’s gift aid in ways that would better serve the university’s mission and needs
  • Identify and provide recommendations on how to improve student success through reforms to the distribution of gift aid
  • Identify the short- and long-term changes that will need to be considered or implemented

More to come on this mission-critical university initiative as things progress!


CARES Funding for MSU Students

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 116th U.S. Congress and was signed into law on March 27, 2020, in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

As a result of the CARES Act, MSU has been awarded significant grant funding to help support students and maintain necessary university operations. Over the past year, we had already awarded over $30M in emergency grant funds to students who were negatively impacted by the current pandemic. In many cases, these grant funds allowed students to keep up with their rent, utilities, and other living expenses.

We were recently informed that another $40M will be available for emergency grant aid funding for Spartans who have been impacted by COVID-19. Over the next couple of semesters, the university plans to assist thousands of MSU Spartans who have been impacted by COVID-19 with these funds. Please be on the lookout for a notification on how to seek emergency assistance from this additional distribution of emergency funding.

Support our Students in Accessing Their Financial Aid

MSU students (new and returning) should be sure to complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA (for Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022), or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as soon as possible. The FAFSA is a free application provided by the federal government. It is used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid such as grants, loans, and work-study. The FAFSA website has many resources to help our students complete the form correctly. The online application is significantly faster and more accurate than using the paper application.

If a student has already completed the 2021-2022 FAFSA, make sure they visit the MSU Student Financial Aid portal at as soon as possible to check and finalize their financial aid. Fall 2021 registration bills will be generated in mid-July.


Submitted By:

Glenn Chambers

Anthony Krolak

Rick Shipman

Keith Williams