Paying for College

Paying for college can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are many fantastic resources to support you as you navigate the financial side of attending college.


At UMKC, students receive more than $200 million in financial aid, including grants, loans, scholarships and Work-Study jobs, each year. Understanding your options and pursuing opportunities to reduce your college costs are valuable parts of your college experience.

Ways to pay for school

  • Scholarships — Financial awards given to students to help pay for educational expenses and do not need to be repaid. Scholarships are often given based on academic achievement, financial need or special abilities.
  • GrantsOften available to only national undergraduate students working on their first bachelor's degree. Students are only responsible for paying a grant back under certain conditions, including early withdrawal from a program or change in enrollment status. Grants are based on financial need and may come from the federal government, state government or institution.
  • Personal and family savings — Students may use personal savings, college savings plans or assistance from family or friends to help cover college expenses.
  • Loans — Borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. Most federal loans require that national students submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Work-Study — Federal program that provides funding for part-time student jobs on and off campus. Work-Study awards are available on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Employment — Many students work part-time to help cover the cost of living and educational expenses. UMKC Career Services is a great resource for students looking for employment opportunities.

Quick tips 

  • Fill out the FAFSA each yearComplete the FAFSA each year to be eligible for federal grants, loans and Work-Study. It is recommended that national students complete the FAFSA regardless of their family financial situation.
  • Set time aside for your scholarship search — Searching for scholarships can be a time-consuming process but it can have a great payoff. Treat your scholarship search like a part-time job and set time aside each week or month to search and apply for scholarships.
  • Complete the UMKC Competitive Scholarship Application each year — Fill out the Competitive Scholarship Application each year for scholarship opportunities for the following year, it opens October 1st through March 1st. 
  • Make a budget — Creating a budget is a great way to see your full financial picture and identify any funding gaps.
  • Create a Handshake Profile — Sign up and connect with employers, schedule appointments with a career coach and register for upcoming events and career fairs.  
  • Ask questions — Many students become overwhelmed while navigating financial aid. If you have specific questions, take time to reach out to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to get answers and support.




These recommendations are being provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The University of Missouri-Kansas City bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the resources listed.