Missouri Southern Student, Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Dashboard

Missouri Southern State University logo
Missouri Southern State University logo
Home » Students » Modifications to Student Support Areas

In response to the COVID-19 situation, to accommodate our new distance learning approach for the spring 2020 semester, some student service areas have modified their policies and/or procedures. Please refer to the information below for a summary of those modifications. Information provided here is subject to change, depending on this fluid situation. Students with questions should contact Student Affairs at 417-625-9392 or studentaffairs@mssu.edu.

Counseling Services

Counseling Services – In-Person Sessions and Telemental Health: Counseling Services is providing In-Person sessions as well as Telemental Health services on a limited basis. This includes a video/audio service with currently enrolled MSSU students who are physically residing in Missouri at the time of service. All counseling services are available to students who are currently enrolled in summer or fall classes. All new students to MSSU in the fall may start receiving counseling services in the fall. Currently enrolled MSSU students who reside outside of Missouri will be offered consultation services to help find appropriate referrals in their area.

For more information email counselingservices@mssu.edu and Telemental Health Services.

Coping Self-Help Apps

What’s Up

Apple linkhttps://apps.apple.com/us/app/whats-up-a-mental-health-app/id968251160

Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM)




Sanvello  – Help with anxiety, depression, and stress.

Currently providing COVID-19 guidance in addition to typical services.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid employees can be contacted via email or telephone. They are currently working on-campus with social distancing in place.

Federal CARES Act emergency grant/stimulus funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One component of the Federal CARES Act establishes the Higher Education Emergency Relief (“HEERF”) fund, which provides funds to institutions of higher education, like MSSU, for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Notably, a portion of these funds are intended to be distributed directly to eligible students.

MSSU applied, was approved, and is eligible to receive $4,756,273. Fifty percent of these funds are for emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic, including expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

Students eligible for grants under the Federal CARES Act are those who:

  1. were not enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to March 13, 2020,
  2. experienced a disruption in campus operations due to COVID-19 pandemic, and
  3. are eligible for federal student aid and comply with the following federal requirements:
    1. Are enrolled in degree, certificate program, or other eligible program
    2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent credential (and not currently enrolled in elementary or secondary school)
    3. Are making satisfactory academic progress requirements
    4. Have no owed overpayments from any federal student grant or loan
    5. Are not in default on any federal student loan
    6. Have an SSN
    7. Are a citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen
    8. Have not been found guilty of any fraud relating to the federal student aid program, or have made restitution if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to such charges
    9. Have not fraudulently obtained federal student aid funds in excess of annual aggregate limits; if obtained inadvertently, returned those funds
    10. Are in compliance with the U.S. Selective Service registration requirements, if applicable
    11. Are not currently incarcerated
    12. Have no federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.

Federal CARES Act distributions and email notifications will begin to eligible students in May 2020. We estimate approximately 3,500 students at MSSU will be eligible. As of May 15, 2020, MSSU will be distributing $2,065,700 to 3,178 eligible students. As of June 5, 2020, $30,550 additional funds were paid to 47 eligible students. As of June 30, 2020, $3,900 additional funds have been paid to 6 more eligible students. As of July 20, 2020, $2,378,137 has been distributed to 3,236 students.  This fulfills our grant awards to students, and we no longer have additional Federal CARES Act grant funding available to students.

Notifications to Students:

These federal grants will be disbursed to eligible students by the MSSU Bursar via electronic refund or a paper check by mail. Students should have a valid bank account setup for electronic refund at www.mssu.edu/paymybill Or

Ensure their mailing address is correct with the MSSU Registrar. Students can update mailing address here.

Please review the FAQ items below for additional guidance.

  • Why did I get this money?
    • The U.S. Department of Education made Federal CARES Act funds available to students who incurred expenses as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions to their campus operations. MSSU identified eligible students that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 disruptions to normal campus operations.
    • Eligible students received a $650 Federal CARES Act grant beginning May 2020 until funds are exhausted, and before the one-year expiration date.
    • Eligible students received a second distribution of $85 in July 2020 to further exhaust available funds.
    • Recipients were notified via a message to their MSSU email account.
  • Which students are eligible for Federal CARES Act grants?
    • Federal CARES Act grant funds will be awarded as a block grant to students who meet these criteria:
      • Pursuing an MSSU degree program (including undergraduate, graduate, certificate)
      • Eligible to file Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
      • Eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. (e.g., be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds such as the Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Loans, etc.) –see federal student aid requirement list above
      • Enrolled in at least 3 credit hours towards a degree-seeking program at MSSU as of 3/13/20
      • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program on or prior to 3/13/20
  • I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my MSSU account balance has been paid off?
    • No. Distribution of Federal CARES Act funds is made directly to students and not applied by the University toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by the student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to MSSU for any debts incurred during the spring 2020 term or any terms prior. Please check your current account balance in LioNet to determine what you may still owe.
  • Can I use this money to pay off my MSSU balance?
    • Yes. MSSU is not authorized to apply Federal CARES Act funds toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. However, once the funds are received as a refund, students may choose to use the funds to pay off their outstanding account balance.
      Bursar@mssu.edu 417.625.9381 www.mssu.edu/paymybill
  • Can MSSU just apply the funds to my account balance with my approval or permission?
    • No. Federal regulations stipulate that all Federal CARES Act funds must be disbursed directly to the student and may not be applied toward outstanding balances. To use these funds to pay an outstanding balance with MSSU, a student must make a payment to their account through the Bursar’s Office. Bursar@mssu.edu 417.625.9381 www.mssu.edu/paymybill
  • Am I eligible to receive Federal CARES Act funds if I am not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards?
    • No. Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that students not meeting Financial Aid SAP standards are not eligible for Federal CARES Act fund distributions.
  • Are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students eligible for Federal CARES Act funds?
    • No. Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify for the Federal CARES Act funds. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens.
  • Are International students eligible for Federal CARES Act funds?
    • No. Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify for the Federal CARES Act funds. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens.
  • Do I have to pay this money back?
    • No. Any funds a student receives from the Federal CARES Act will not need to be repaid.
  • Does this money count against my financial aid package?
    • No. Grant funding from the Federal CARES Act is not considered financial assistance under federal statue, nor U.S. Department of Education regulations. As such, these funds will not impact your eligibility for regular financial aid (e.g., grants, scholarships, loans).
  • Is money received from the Federal CARES Act considered taxable income?
    • This grant is not includable in a student’s gross income. Emergency financial aid grants under the Federal CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • In addition, because the emergency financial aid grant is not includable in a student’s gross income, students are not able to claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • All students are encouraged to talk with a personal tax professional relating to any questions you may have about the treatment of the funds.
  • If I do not qualify for any Federal CARES Act funding are there any other emergency funds for which I can apply?
    • Students should contact the MSSU Financial Aid Office to see what options are available in your particular situation. finaid@mssu.edu 417.625.9325

Student Loan Repayment

All loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education will have interest waived six months beginning 3/13/20-09/30/20 this includes Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), as well as Federal Perkins Loans.

Student loan payments can be suspended with an administrative forbearance.  The borrower can request this forbearance by contacting their loan servicer.  (Please see servicer websites below.)

If a student’s federal loan is at least 31 days past due, the loan will be placed automatically into forbearance and their account will be brought current. For more information, see StudentAid.gov

Loan Servicer contacts

Great Lakes

FedLoan Servicing






OSLA Student Loan Servicing



For more information about updates to the library in response to COVID please visit the library’s COVID page: https://libguides.mssu.edu/covid2020

Residence Life

  • Students who do not have access to alternate housing may request to stay by contacting Residence Life staff at residencelife@mssu.edu.
  • Refunds for housing will be pro-rated from the day of check out.

Self Enrollment (Priority Registration beginning March 23rd)

During this time of transitioning to distance learning instruction and in an effort to lighten the increased workload that comes with priority registration, the university will allow our current students to self-enroll for fall 2020 through Lionet. This is only an additional option for students. Students who prefer to work together with their advisor to enroll may certainly do so. Also note:

  • Normal registration restrictions, such as enrolling during the student’s class rank, are applicable.
  • Students will be emailed enrollment instructions. Click here to access self-enrollment instructions.
  • Registration overrides will continue through the academic departments.

For questions about self-enrollment, students may contact their advisors, the ACTS Office, the Registrar’s Office, or the Help Desk.

Student Employment

Student Employees, whether working or not, will continue to be paid through May 11, 2020, what they typically would be paid before the virus issues. Supervisors will be providing lists to Payroll to report the hours. This includes both Federal Work-Study and Student Employment workers.

Student Success Center

Disability Services

Students who have questions regarding their accommodation plans made with the Student Disability Services Coordinator in the Student Success Center may call 417-659-3725 or email disabilityservices@mssu.edu. Faculty are working with students to ensure all accommodation plans continue to be met as we switch to the distance learning course delivery format.

Tutoring Services

Tutors for most subjects (including Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Business) are in the Tutoring Lab in Hearnes 317. Writing tutors are in the Writing Studio in Hearnes 301. And the Respiratory Care tutor is located in the Health Science Building, room 333.

Schedules showing tutors’ availability are online at the Student Success Center website and on our Facebook page and are posted on the third floor of Hearnes.

Much will be the same as usual, but due to COVID-19 protocols, the following changes will be made for the fall semester:

  • Only students receiving tutoring will be allowed into the Hearnes Hall tutoring rooms.
  • Students receiving tutoring are expected to wear face coverings and observe social distancing.
  • All students must check in at the desk next to the door before entering.
  • Once all tutors on duty are working with a student, no more students will be admitted until an opening occurs.
  • If a tutoring room is full, students can go to Hearnes 301 to ask about an appointment for another time or they can fill out the online request form. Appointments will be accepted no more than two weeks in advance.

The Student Success Center also offers

  • Online help with writing, using the Student Success Center link in Blackboard,
  • Online tutoring in other subject areas, with times set up using the request form, and
  • Appointments for students not able to meet with tutors during the scheduled times, using the same request form

If you have any questions, please contact the Student Success Center at studentsuccesscenter@mssu.edu or 417.659.3725.

Testing Services

MSSU Testing Services is open for business with safety cautions in place.

Check-In procedures:

We have the floor marked for social distancing. We will check one candidate in at a time in room 117 while other candidates wait outside the testing room. We are operating at 30-50% capacity.

Items allowed in the testing center:

Your government issued ID(s), your car keys, snack items that can be sealed in a Ziploc baggie

Leave ALL other items in your car including cell phones.

You are required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth – Please bring one with you and have it on when you enter the building.

What you can expect:

  • Staff will be wearing masks
  • Items will be sanitized before/after each use
  • Hand sanitizer will be available
  • We will practice social distancing when we can
  • We will stay home when sick

What we expect from you:

  • Wearing a mask is required
  • Use hand sanitizer before handling test center items
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Even with a mask, cover all sneezes/coughs
  • Stay home and reschedule your exam if you’re feeling sick

University Police Department

The University Police Department is still fully staffed during the current social distancing, and available to assist with police or service related issues on campus. The front office of the UPD has a poly screen, so no direct contact is required to report an incident or request assistance. Emergency 911 Report a crime 417-623-3131 (or come to the office) Service call 417-626-2222 (or come to the office

Veteran Services

Impact on our GI Bill recipients:  Since the switch from training in-residence to online has occurred during the term, and our programs have been approved by the State Approving Agency for delivery through an online modality, benefit payments will remain unchanged for the remainder of the term.  This includes the Monthly Housing Allowance under Post 9/11 GI Bill.