Understanding Your Financial Aid

Use this guide to help you understand how financial aid is awarded, your rights and responsibilities as an award recipient, and answer many of the basic questions associated with your awards.


This page is designed to help you understand your financial aid award. It explains how financial aid is awarded, your rights and responsibilities as an award recipient, and answers many of the basic questions associated with your awards. It is important that you thoroughly review this information. If, after reviewing this page, you have additional questions please browse our website or contact our office anytime at 816-235-1154 or finaid@umkc.edu.

Viewing and Accepting Aid

Once you've received your award notice via letter and/or email, you can access your awards through Pathway. Pathway allows you instant access to critical financial aid information such as missing information, financial aid eligibility, and award information.

To access Pathway, go to pathway.umkc.edu. Log-in to Pathway using your UMKC user name and password.

Once you've logged into Pathway, you'll want to review your awards and accept, decline, or reduce all offers. 

Reviewing and Accepting Award Offers

IMPORTANT NOTE:  In order to view your financial aid awards online, you must first review and agree with the terms of the e-Consent for Campus Finance/Student Records access in Pathway. E-Consent for Campus Finance/Student Records allows you to access your student account and financial aid information online. 

Complete the Financial Aid Process


Financial Aid Disbursement

Terms and Conditions

When you accept the offer of financial aid specified on your award notification page, you agree to accept and fulfill the following responsibilities, including the terms and conditions set by the federal regulations for financial aid.

Additional Assistance Received

If you receive additional funds not listed on your award notice (community or organizational scholarships, departmental awards, state scholarships, etc.), report them immediately to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office even if you know the office making the award will advise us directly. If there is any change to your financial aid eligibility because of the additional assistance, you will receive a letter and/or e-mail notification that you have a revised award. Whenever you receive additional assistance, your awards may be adjusted or reduced, even if your aid has already been disbursed to you.

Previously Received Federal Title IV Aid

You must not be in default on any federal educational loan or owe any refunds on federal grants received at postsecondary institutions.

If you received federal aid at another institution during the same aid year that you are attending UMKC, your award amounts may be reduced by the amount utilized at the other institution. You should inform the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office if you received federal aid at another institution during the same aid year. This includes Federal Direct Loans. 

Use of funds

You may use funds listed on your award notice for education-related expenses only. This includes living expenses incurred while attending UMKC.

Enrollment requirements

Attendance requirement

Withdrawing from the university

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Consumer Information

How Financial Aid is Calculated

In order to determine how much financial aid you are eligible for, our office uses the following equation. 

  Cost of Attendance   Cost of Attendance and Expected Family Contribution are the two basic components used to determine how much Need a student has for need-based financial aid.
- Expected Family Contribution  
= Need  

Cost of Attendance or Estimated Financial Aid Budget - the estimated cost of attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City for a full academic year (fall and spring terms). It includes estimated amounts for tuition and fees, books and supplies, and housing and dining, plus a modest amount for personal expenses and transportation.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the amount that the Federal Government determines that you and/or your family can contribute towards your cost of attendance.  Please Note: The EFC is not an amount you or your family will be billed. It is only used to assist with determining a student’s financial aid awards.  It is derived from an assessment formula that is applied uniformly to all aid applicants and considers the financial information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC is made up of two parts:

  • The Parent Contribution – an estimated amount based on your parent’s assets (including cash, checking, savings, money market accounts; investments and real estate holdings; and business equity), that your parents can contribute towards your college costs for the year. Allowances for living expenses (based on family size, taxes paid, the number of siblings in college, and asset protection for retirement) are built into the formula.
  • The Student/Spouse Contribution – an estimated amount that you and/or your spouse can contribute towards your college costs for the year. It is based on your income and a percentage of your savings and other assets.

Independent students do not have to provide parental information on the FAFSA. The EFC will be based upon the Student/Spouse Contribution only.  Independent health professional students are required to provide parental information only if they wish to be considered for certain types of aid from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Estimated Cost of Attendance 

You cannot receive more financial assistance than your total Cost of Attendance. Please report any outside grant, loan, scholarship or waiver, if it is not already listed on your financial aid award package, to our office.

Estimated financial aid budget

Need-based aid distribution

We attempt to distribute grant, Work-Study and loan funds equitably among eligible applicants who apply by the priority deadline. Students who require additional funds to cover their expenses and those who are not eligible for need-based aid may consider Unsubsidized or private loans

How we apply need-based aid

  1. Federal, state and private grants and scholarships are added to your award
  2. Federal Work-Study is then added for students with the greatest need based on the availability of funds
  3. Finally, federal Direct Loans are added

Loan Information

Federal Direct Student Loan (Direct Loan) Fees

Federal Direct Loan awards have origination fees. Current loan origination fees can be found at StudentAid.gov. Because of these fees, the actual Direct Loan amounts applied to your university student account will be lower than those listed on your award notification page in Pathway. Loan origination fees are subject to change based on the loan’s disbursement date.

Subsidized vs Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is a need-based loan, while the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not. Students borrowing the Subsidized Loan do not pay interest on the loan while they are enrolled at least half-time; conversely, students borrowing the Unsubsidized Loan will have interest accrue while they are enrolled in school. You may defer the interest payments on an Unsubsidized Loan until you graduate; however, this will result in a higher loan payment over the life of the loan, so you will pay more in the long run.  Graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loans.

Completing Loan Entrance Counseling

First-time UMKC Direct Loan borrowers must complete loan entrance counseling before receiving a loan disbursement. You can complete entrance counseling online, at any time, by visiting StudentAid.gov.

Completing a Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note

Instructions for completing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for a Federal Direct Loan, a Parent Loan for Undergraduates Students (Parent PLUS) or a Graduate PLUS Loan are at StudentAid.gov. You will need to have your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) that you used to complete the FAFSA to be able to complete your MPN and review important information regarding your loan account online. If you do not want to complete an electronic MPN, you may complete a paper MPN. If you would like to complete a paper MPN, please contact the UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan and Federal Grad PLUS Loan are intended to assist students who are not eligible for other types of financial aid, who have remaining financial need after other forms of financial aid have been awarded, or who are not eligible to receive need-based aid. The maximum amount that can be borrowed each year is the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid awarded. For Parent PLUS Loans, the PLUS borrower is the parent of a dependent undergraduate student; for Grad PLUS Loans, the borrower is the graduate or professional student. Both the Parent PLUS Loan and the Grad PLUS loan are credit-based.

When completing the Parent PLUS Loan Application, the parent is required to indicate the amount they wish to borrow. If you do not know the amount you want to borrow, review your award in Pathway. The parent is eligible to borrow up to the amount listed. The parent may request a lower amount.

To initiate the Parent PLUS loan process, a parent must:

**For detailed instructions, please review the Parent PLUS Loan Guide

To initiate the Grad PLUS process, a graduate or professional student must:

  • Complete Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling
  • Complete the Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note

Private Loan Sources

If you have considered all the federal loan options and you feel that you need additional financing to meet your educational costs, see our Private Loan page for information on private loans. Apply for private loans separately and be sure to compare their rates and terms with the Parent PLUS Loan and Grad PLUS Loan.  The maximum that can be borrowed each year is the Cost of Attendance minus all other financial aid awarded.

Private Education Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure

Additional Important Policies

The University of Missouri—Kansas City is required by law to make available to enrolled students, prospective students, and their parents, certain information about its operations. Such information pertains to (1) general institutional operation, (2) financial aid, (3) general completion and graduation rates, (4) annual security report, (5) completion and graduation rates for student-athletes, and (6) athletic program participation rates and financial support.  This information is readily available to students on the Registration and Records website for Consumer Information.

Additionally, a complete list of Financial Aid policies, including those not discussed in this document, are available on the Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

Types of Aid