Q. What is financial aid?
Financial aid is funding to assist you in paying for your college education. This funding comes from sources outside of your family. Gift aid and self-help aid are two categories of financial aid. 1) Gift aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships and does not have to be repaid. 2) Self-help aid comes in the form of loans and employment. Financial aid at Kent State University is awarded to students based on financial need and/or merit. A student may have a combination of grants, loans, scholarships and employment for a financial aid award.
Q. How do I apply?
Go to www.fafsa.gov to complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). Please note that the application is free. You should never have to pay to file the FAFSA. File as soon as possible after January 1 of each year in order to meet Kent State University's priority processing deadline of March 1. The federal government's "Frequently Asked Questions" on the FAFSA, can be accessed by clicking here.
Q. What happens after I apply?
Once Kent State University receives your financial aid application results from the federal processors, we determine your eligibility based on your financial need. At that point the student's record runs through our automated processing programs and an Initial Financial Aid Award Notification letter is mailed to the student. As subsequent adjustments are made to your financial aid notification, an email will be sent notifying you of any changes. Flashline always has the most up-to-date information about your student aid and we encourage you to view that often. Flashline can be accessed by clicking here.
Q. What if I plan on attending a summer session?
Those students who wish to apply for financial aid over the summer terms should file the FAFSA early enough to meet the March 1 priority processing deadline. In addition, you must complete the Summer Financial Aid Application available here. Many financial aid programs have yearly maximums, so any aid you choose to use in the summer may lessen the amounts you receive for fall and spring semesters.
Q. How is my financial aid award determined?
The federal government has established a formula which determines your expected family contribution, or EFC, and can be found on the top-right corner of your Student Aid Report (SAR). This formula, which is used by colleges and universities throughout the country, estimates your family’s financial strength in order to determine the amount your family should be able to contribute to the cost of education for the academic year. Family income, assets, size of the family, number in college, as well as an allowance for retirement are among a few of the items evaluated by this formula. The expected family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from the cost of attendance to determine your financial need.
Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need
Q. What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
A Student Aid Report is the analysis of the data you reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Student Aid Report has your calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on it, and that number is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. You should receive your Student Aid Report from the federal processor four to six weeks after filing the FAFSA. Around the same time, Kent State University will receive an electronic version of this report from the federal processor which we use to determine your financial aid award. If you do not receive your SAR within six weeks after filing the FAFSA, you should contact the Federal Student Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 to check the status.
Q. If I receive my Student Aid Report and it says I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
Verification is a process that confirms, or verifies, data reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Kent State University participates in a Department of Education program called the Quality Assurance Program. Based on this program, the Kent State University Student Financial Aid Office determines which students will be selected for verification and requests the appropriate documentation directly from the student and/or parents. So, if you see that you are selected for verification on your Student Aid Report, you can disregard it. If you are selected under Kent State’s verification guidelines, we will notify you and request any forms that are needed. It is always a good idea, however, to keep your tax and financial papers in a central location so you will have quick access to them if necessary.
Q. What if my family has a special circumstance that will affect how much we can pay?
Students who have special circumstances (i.e. loss of income, high medical expenses, etc.) should contact Donna Holcomb. Each inquiry at Kent State University will be reviewed for any allowable changes that may help you and your family afford the cost of education.
Q. What if I never attend or need to exit in the middle of a semester?
Kent State University is required by federal law to review the enrollment activity of its federal (Title IV) financial aid recipients. A student is considered a Title IV financial aid recipient if he/she has received any of the following federal awards: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, William D. Ford Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) loans.
Federal financial aid eligibility is based upon student attendance. Therefore, if a student stops attending the University and does not complete the official withdrawal process through the Registrar’s Office, he/she is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University and is subject to the Title IV refund policies based upon the last date of attendance at an academically-related event. If the last date of attendance is not known, then the midpoint of the semester will be used as the withdrawal date.
If a student never attends the courses registered for in a given semester, the student is considered to be an unofficial withdrawal. In this case, all Title IV, state and institutional aid will be returned to the appropriate programs. Students are notified within 30 days of the end of each semester as to their appeal process and date at which aid will be returned to the federal programs.
If a student is a recipient of federal financial aid, a change in enrollment, never attending classes, or withdrawing from the University may result in the student having to repay programs from which financial assistance was received. A student is not eligible for a refund until all Federal Title IV programs and other grants and scholarships are reimbursed as required and all outstanding balances with the University has been cleared.
Q. What is a Federal PLUS loan and how can I get one?
A Federal PLUS loan is a federally regulated loan that a parent/step-parent may borrow to help cover the cost of their child's education. A FAFSA must be completed and on file at the Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO). The SFAO will determine the eligibility amount. A Financial Aid Award Letter will be sent to the student indicating that an estimated PLUS loan has been awarded. The parent needs to complete a PLUS Pre-application on the back of the financial aid award letter or online here and return it to the SFAO. A credit check will be processed by the Loan Origination Center (LOC). The SFAO (and the parent) will receive notification of the credit decision. If you passed the credit review, a promissory note will be sent to you. Return the promissory note and the SFAO will review the eligibility requirements.
If the student has maintained the eligibility requirements, the net amount of the loan (loan amount borrowed minus 3 percent origination fee) will be applied to the student's account. A refund check will be mailed to the parent, which may then be used to aid in the cost of the student's educational expenses. Repayment on PLUS loans begin immediately. If the parents are denied a PLUS loan after the credit check, the family has the option to resolve the credit problems, obtain a co-signer (endorser) or allow the student to receive additional unsubsidized loan funds in the Direct Loan Program. A Denial Form will be mailed to you to review and to make a choice from the alternatives.
Q. Will I receive the same amount of financial aid next year?
If your family situation remains the same with regard to income, number in the family, and number in college, and assets, and as long as we receive the results of your FAFSA data by March 1, then you can expect that your financial aid should be approximately the same amount. However, your loan limits will change depending on your grade level and your dependency status. In addition, you must re-apply for financial aid every year you wish to be considered for financial aid.