In an effort to celebrate with you, Missouri Western State University has rescheduled its Spring Commencement ceremony for Family Weekend this fall. The ceremony for students who earned their degrees in the spring semester and in the summer term will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2020, in the Looney Complex Arena.

Spring and Summer 2020 graduates who are unable to participate in the September 20 commencement will be invited to participate in the December 2020 commencement ceremony on December 19, 2020. In order to help us identify which commencement you will be part of, please go to GoldLink and fill out our Commencement Attendance Form.  You will find the form under the ‘Student Life’ tab.

Our staff is working diligently to package and mail caps and gowns to those of you who indicated on your graduation application that you were attending commencement.  Our goal is for you to receive them by May 2.  The package will include: cap, gown, tassel, diploma cover, reminder of September 20 commencement, and honor stoles where applicable.  Your diploma will be mailed out at a later date as normal.  (Please note that due to COVID-19, some deliveries may take longer than expected.)

Please bring your cap, gown and tassel for commencement.

We will have a limited set of diploma covers that will be handed to graduates as they cross the stage and retrieve after pictures have been taken.

We will have an online commencement program for you to review by May 2.  The online program will list all students who have applied to graduate in Spring and Summer. Honors will be based on your overall GPA at the end of the previous semester. Printed programs will be distributed at the September commencement.

We are working on updating the commencement website and will have that available to you.  In addition, reminders will be sent as we draw near the September 20 commencement date.


Checking out of the Residence Halls

The City of Saint Joseph has issued a Stay At Home order effective at 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and continuing until April 24, 2020. As an educational institution, Missouri Western is deemed an “essential” business so access to the residence halls is possible using the process established by Residential Life. We strongly encourage students to gather their belongings so they may shelter in place at their home residence. Your assistance in removing your belongings will help us accommodate students who do not have the ability to go home.

All students need to leave campus housing by April 1, 2020. Housing and Residential Life is using an express check-out process to expedite your departure from campus. Please follow these steps:

  1. Sign-up for a checkout time at:
  2. Come to the Commons Building when you arrive on campus to pick up the checkout form and envelope.
  3. Once you have removed all of your belongings and followed all instructions on the checkout form, place the form and keys inside the envelope and return it to the Commons Building.

We have not established limits as to how much time you have once you sign up for a check-out time. We would appreciate limiting your check-out time to two hours or less to help ensure social distancing and a small population within the halls.

We ask that you limit the number of people you bring into the residence halls with you. We are trying to maintain a limited population and social distancing in the halls. Please respect others and limit the number of guests you bring with you.

Please email explaining your situation. Please provide a telephone number so we can call you to discuss the situation.

Students should make every attempt to remove their belongings the same day they return to campus. If travel time prevents this from happening, please reach out to

When you check out of the residence halls, you will provide us your forwarding address. Please make sure to inform people who regularly send you mail of your new address.  If you have a package en route, we will make every attempt to forward it. However UPS, FedEx, and DHL will not forward packages that are delivered. Instead, they will be returned to the sender.

Enterprise has made it easier for students to get home to their families by reducing the age minimum on car rentals and waiving young renter fees for rentals through May 31, 2020. Here is the link to making reservations:

Additionally, Penske Truck Rental is wanting to make sure that Students from Missouri Western who have been displaced due to COVID-19 have access to a rental truck. They are providing a 50% discount on our rental equipment for students who need it.

Continuing to Stay in the Residence Halls

Yes.  All students who are approved to remain on campus have received notification.

Residents will receive an email from Angie Caswell, Residential Life Administrative Coordinator, with your room assignment and moving dates. We will make those assignments as soon as residents in Vartabedian move out & the rooms are cleaned.

No. The residence halls will have limited capacity for students who must stay due to extenuating circumstances. We will place students in Vartabedian Hall in a manner that best maintains social distancing.

Credits or Refunds for Early Departure?

Yes. In most cases, the University will issue credits for room and board charges at 40% of the amounts previously charged for spring semester (except for flex dollars), which will roll forward to future semesters.

If you stayed in the dorms after spring break, then the 40% credit will be reduced on a pro-rata basis depending on how long you stayed.

Credits (if applicable) will not be issued until Residential Life has a check-out date scheduled for you or you have notified us of your need for an extended check out. Please contact

You should continue to make your regularly scheduled payments. You will be issued a credit on your account and any remaining payment amounts will be reduced for the applied credit.

Any credit will be applied to the remaining balance on your account first, if any.

If you currently have a zero balance on your account, the credit will roll forward for use in summer or fall semester.  These can be used for tuition, fees and/or housing.

If you currently have a zero balance on your account and your account was paid partially by Federal Title IV financial aid (Pell, SEOG, Stafford Loans or Parent Plus Loans), you will receive a credit for future semesters — unless the credit exceeds the amount of other scholarships or payments.  In this case, you will receive a refund for the excess portion covered by Federal aid.

If you currently have a zero balance on your account and your account was paid totally by Federal Title IV financial aid (Pell, SEOG, Stafford Loans or Parent Plus Loans) you will receive a refund.

If you have questions regarding your credits, please contact Student Accounts at (816) 271-4324.

Yes, for a graduating senior, any remaining account balance after a credit has been applied for housing or meals will be refunded. Graduating seniors will receive a refund for Flex dollars as well.

You will receive a credit at this time, but we will process a refund after the start of the Fall semester based on proof of enrollment at another college or university.

Flex dollars will roll to future semesters and will not be refunded except for graduating seniors.

No, scholarships will be prorated to cover the actual costs and therefore, will not create a credit or refund situation.

The scholarship will be prorated to a zero balance; no refunds or credits will be provided for scholarships, they are limited to the direct cost.


Yes. You will still receive credit for the entire term and receive additional education, so you need to pay full tuition.

No. Student fees are dedicated to a wide-variety of services and are generally committed at the start of the semester. Goods have been purchased and services will continue.


Credits will not have an impact on financial aid.

Congress has introduced legislation that, if enacted, will alleviate the impact to GI Bill beneficiaries for a switch to pursuit solely through distance education. Please refer to this page for updates on how VA benefits are affected.

Students who receive Vocational Rehab funding should reach out to them for additional information on how their benefits might be impacted.


The rental due date is June 15. Students can print a free return label through our website through this date.

Reminder emails will be sent out on 4/18, 5/2, and 5/24. Students will need the order number provided in these emails to send the books back. Students who are not able to return their books on time will have up to September 4 to return their books before being charged.

International students who are unable to return their books before leaving the country should inform the Missouri Western Bookstore at to avoid penalties. Free regular ground shipping is available for domestic returns with a prepaid UPS return label offered by the Missouri Western Bookstore.

To retrieve your pre-paid UPS label:

  1. Go to
  2. Click TEXTBOOKS on the left side of the top toolbar; Select TEXTBOOK RENTALS from the drop down menu
  3. Scroll down until you see RENTAL RETURN on the right hand side and click on RENTAL RETURN
  4. A new page will load and you will enter your Order ID (your order number) and your email that was used to place the order
  5. Click submit to access your free UPS return label and print the label.
  6. Pack your book(s) up in a box, seal it, and attach the label you printed to the outside of the box.
  7. Drop off at a UPS pickup location.

You can print your return label as many times as you like, but you can only use it once. If you’re returning multiple books, please put them in one box and use one shipping label. The label will be accessible until the due date.

Please let us know if we can help in any other way. Email or call 816-271-4456.

We are offering free regular ground shipping for all orders placed through the Missouri Western Bookstore website. This will automatically apply to all qualifying orders at checkout.

Please let us know if we can help in any other way. Email or call 816-271-4456.

Utilizing the VitalSource platform, students can access free eTextbooks through May 25, 2020. To get started, students or instructors should visit You will need to create or log-in to a Bookshelf account with their Missouri Western email address to begin searching or reading eTextbooks. To access eTextbooks offline, you should download the Bookshelf app on your computer or mobile device. More information on this program can be found at

Please let us know if we can help in any other way. Email or call 816-271-4456.


You may keep the materials you need and return them when you can with no fear of late fees. All library materials have a new due date of April 30, as it is the end of the semester. There will be no fines or late fees.

If you no longer need your library materials, they can be placed in the library drop box outside of the library entrances.

Please return the materials when you are able, even if it is August when you return for the Fall semester.

You can check My Library Account to see what materials you have and to renew them. Your unique campus id is your G# and mw.  For example to access My Library Account I would enter Name: Sally Gibson Unique Campus ID: G0012345mw.

If you have MOBIUS materials, most other libraries have extended their due dates. MOBIUS materials can be returned when you are able to do so.

Over the summer we will contact individuals who still have library materials and confirm how and when they would like to return the materials.  

The library building is closed, but we are continuing to offer library services remotely.

Although the library will be physically closed, we will continue to offer library services remotely. Reference Librarians are available via chat, email, or phone (816) 271-4573.

The chat box is located on the library homepage. Reference librarians are also available for one on one assistance via Zoom.  Virtual help hours are 8 am – 8 pm Monday – Thursday Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm  Saturday 12 pm – 5 pm and Sunday 2 pm – 8 pm.

Temporary free access has been granted to many APA books & resources such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, the Concise Guide to AA Style, and over 160 more publications!

There is also a library FAQ for commonly asked questions.


Not if a student’s only job was with the University. If the student has had employment elsewhere, they may reach out and find out if they are eligible.

From USDA website

Most able-bodied students ages 18 through 49 who are enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least half time are not eligible for SNAP benefits. However, students may be able to get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible and they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Take part in a state or federally financed work study program;
  • Work at least 20 hours a week;
  • Are taking care of a dependent household member (check website for details)
  • Are assigned to or placed in a college or certain other schools through:
  • A program under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998;
  • A program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974;
  • An employment and training program under the Food Stamp Act; or
  • An employment and training program operated by a state or local government.
  • Also, a single parent enrolled full time in college and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12 can get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible.

Contact info for the Department of Social Services:; (855) FSD-INFO/(855) 373-4636)