Frequently Asked Questions

On-Campus ACCESS Program


Who is eligible for ACCESS?

Those eligible to apply for admission to ACCESS must have a mild intellectual and developmental disability that significantly interferes with their academic performance, social development, and independent living skills. ACCESS graduates receive a Certificate of Completion. Students who are eligible for ACCESS are generally not eligible for admission to a degree program from a college or university.

Desired applicants display the following:

  1. Diagnosed with an intellectual and/or developmental disability
  2. Preferably between 18 and 26 years of age upon admission to the program
  3. Strong desire to live and work independently
  4. Functional reading and math skills (e.g. demonstrate comprehension of basic text, ability to apply basic math applications such as addition and subtraction, identification, and basic understanding of money, etc.)
  5. Adequate communication skills to interact with others
  6. Understanding of technology and electronic communications (e.g. usage of smartphone, text messaging, emailing, etc.)
  7. Demonstrates independence, motivation, and stability with minor assistance
  8. Handles changes in routine, flexible in fluctuating circumstances
  9. Follows direction and guidance of those in authority
  10. Prior employment or volunteer experience preferable
  11. Independence in handling specialized dietary requirements, medical needs, medication, and hygiene (ACCESS staff will not manage, supervise, or administer medications)
  12. Unified commitment from family to support goals of ACCESS
  13. Navigate a daily routine (read and conceptualize time and dates, independently transition throughout day, etc.)
  14. Ability to self-manage when left unsupervised for an extended period of time
  15. Commitment to a 4-year transition program


How can I apply to ACCESS?

Please visit Apply for detailed information about applying to ACCESS.

What skills should my child have before attending ACCESS?

To better prepare a student for ACCESS, we suggest working on the following skills:

  • Personal Hygiene
  • Following Schedules, Understanding Times and Dates
  • Administering Medications
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Sending and Receiving Text Messages

Can a student attend ACCESS if he/she is still enrolled in high school?

No, students must have completed high school with either a certificate of completion, occupational diploma, or traditional high school diploma.

Does my student have to live in campus housing, or can he/she live at home?

ACCESS students are required to live in on-campus housing. If the student has a roommate, it must be another ACCESS student. Students live inclusively among traditional MSU students in various residence halls across campus.

Can students live at home and attend as a day student only?

Living on campus allows ACCESS students to learn to live more independently and become more socially involved so students enrolled in the on-campus program are required to live on the MSU campus. If this is not an option for you, consider ACCESS Online Education courses. Students can take these courses from home while still having a socialization component. 

Is it possible for my student to earn a college degree while enrolled in ACCESS?

No. University course curriculums for ACCESS students are generally modified to meet the needs of the students; therefore, the full course-load is not completed by the student. 

What accommodations are provided for my student?

Disability Support Services and ACCESS assist in determining the classroom accommodations that are most appropriate for students with disabilities based on documentation of their disability. Disability Support Services encourages communication with instructors regarding accommodations. Disability Support Services will provide eligible students with Notification Letters regarding their classroom and testing accommodations to give to their professors. Examples of classroom and testing accommodations are varied, but may include: Adapted testing arrangements, extended time on tests, testing in a distraction-free environment, assistance with alternative formats of textbooks, and advocacy with the MSU Housing Department for help with living arrangements. 24-hour assistance and administering of medications is not available for ACCESS students.

Does ACCESS accept out-of-state students?

Yes, ACCESS will accept out-of-state students; however, applicants from MS will be reviewed initially. At this time, out-of-state tuition is waived.

What is the cost of ACCESS?

Estimated Costs Per Semester:

  • Tuition and Fees = $8,750
  • Housing = $3,854-$4,498
  • University Courses (min. of 3 hour/semester) = $371.43/credit hour
  • Meal Plan = $1,875-$2,019
  • Books = Subject to course requirements

Tuition is subject to change. These estimates are accurate as of 11/1/2020.

Are ACCESS students eligible for financial aid?

Yes. MSU ACCESS is certified by the Board of Education as a Comprehensive Transition Post-Secondary (CTP) program. As a result, students are eligible to apply for Financial Aid. To apply, visit For questions, call the Financial Aid office at 662.325.2450. The priority deadline to apply for FASFA is April 1.

Are there opportunities for scholarships or grants?

Families are strongly encouraged to enroll with your Vocational Rehabilitation (MS Dept. of Rehabilitation Services, MDRS, for MS students) office who has funding available for tuition stipends. However, for students to receive these funds, families must complete the FAFSA application. The Higher Education Act also provides access to Pell grants and work study opportunities. We continue to solicit private, community, and state funds for tuition support assistance.

Can a student begin on-campus classes in January?

For the on-campus program, ACCESS only admits freshmen students for the fall semester beginning in August. Students can enroll for any semester (fall, spring, and summer) with ACCESS Online Education.

Can I schedule a visit and tour?

Each fall, ACCESS hosts Preview Day which provides prospective applicants and their families the opportunity to learn about the program, meet ACCESS students and staff, and tour the campus. If you are interested in touring the campus at other times throughout the year, please schedule a campus tour with the Office of Admissions and Scholarships and ask to include a stop at ACCESS.

How can I follow you on social media?

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ACCESS’s handle is msstateaccess.

How can I make a contribution to ACCESS?

Please visit our Giving page.