Ross Richardson, president of the Houston Community Foundation, speaks last week before Houston High School seniors about the organization's scholarships that are available. The foundation offers a $5,000 annual scholarship (possible renewal for four years) and others for those pursuing medical and trades careers. Houston elementary teachers are also eligible for a financial award to assist with classroom needs. Credit: (Submitted photo)

The priority deadline for the Access Missouri Grant Program is Feb. 1, and the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) is helping students meet that cutoff.

Students who complete the FAFSA by Feb. 1 are guaranteed a grant award if they meet the eligibility requirements, which can be viewed at

Students who complete the FAFSA after Feb. 1 but before the April 1 final deadline could still receive a grant if funding is available.

MDHEWD will host the following virtual FAFSA Frenzy events to help students fill out the FAFSA and meet the priority deadline:

Tuesday, Jan. 24 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 26 – 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 31 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 31 – 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Students attending a FAFSA Frenzy event can apply for one of 20 $500 Journey to College Scholarships through Scholarship Central at Instructions for completing the application can be found at

When attending an event, FAFSA Frenzy participants should bring:

•2021 W-2 forms

•Copies of 2021 tax forms

•Social Security number

•Student and parent FSA IDs (Students and parents should apply for separate usernames and passwords at gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch before attending a FAFSA Frenzy event)

The grant is the state’s largest student financial aid program and is the state’s only student aid program based on financial need.

“The Access Missouri Grant helps thousands of Missourians pay for college each year,” said Leroy Wade, interim commissioner of the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. “We want to make sure as many students as possible file a FAFSA before the Feb. 1 priority deadline so they can take advantage of this program and make college more affordable.”

More than 36,000 Missouri students received funding through the program during the 2021-’22 academic year. The average annual grant award was $805 for students attending a public two-year college and $2,087 for students attending a public four-year college or university, State Technical College of Missouri, or private and approved virtual school.

Maximum grant amounts are determined primarily by available state funding and the number of students eligible for the grant each year. Specific award amounts are based on students’ financial need, the type of college they attend, and other financial aid they receive.

Students must file a FAFSA every year they are in school to be eligible for most federal and state financial aid programs, including the Access Missouri Grant Program.

To increase FAFSA filing in Missouri, public high schools throughout the state are competing in the MDHEWD Show-Me FAFSA Challenge for scholarship prizes, which will be awarded to one student at each of the winning schools.

The Show-Me FAFSA Challenge officially started on Oct. 1, when the 2022-2023 FAFSA opened, and ends on April 1, the final Access Missouri Grant deadline. Learn more about the Show-Me FAFSA Challenge and find the challenge tracker at

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply