Planning and Paying for College

It is important to have a financial plan in place to help towards your educational expenses prior to attending college. Use the 3 steps below as a guide to help you prepare before, during and after the financial aid process.

Before you Apply


View the eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs.


Financial Aid 101

Learn the basics of financial aid, including about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), in this 30 minute video.

Financial Aid 101

Financial Aid Checklist

Take a look at our checklist to get an early start and help you keep on track with your financial aid. 

KSU Financial Aid Checklist

Government/Commercial Information

To gain a broader understanding and help you plan for college,  start with looking and some government and commercial Web sites. These sites can help you get ahead when plotting your course for success.

Get Your PIN

The first step in the process for applying for federal and state aid is to apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN serves as your electronic signature on your FAFSA and signing your Master Promissory Note, if you choose to accept a direct loan.  If you are a dependent student, a parent will also need to apply for a PIN. 

Go to the PIN site     What Is a Federal Student Aid PIN

FAFSA Preparation

The FAFSA4caster will provide an estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Department of Education provides many other sources of information that will help you understand how to complete the FAFSA.

kent state's Net Price Calculator

Kent State's Net Price Calculator will estimate your financial aid awards and provide you with how much you may need to pay out -of-pocket to attend Kent State University.

Go to Kent State's Net Price Calculator

Other Calculators

Student Loan Calculator   Student Budget Calculator

KSU Scholarship Search

Searching for available Kent State scholarships is easy. Enter the required information, press a button and a list of possible Kent State scholarships will appear before your very eyes.

KSU Scholarship Search

Other Scholarship Search Sites

In addition to Kent State scholarships, many commercial sites advertise scholarships available through organizations and businesses.

External Scholarship Search Sites

Applying for Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the FAFSA each and every year. Use the FAFSA to apply free for federal and state student grants, work-study and loans.

Explore the FAFSA site

Scholarship Applications

Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college. Kent State University has hundreds of scholarships available. A group of these scholarships are available in our Student Financial Aid Scholarship Application. Other Kent State scholarships are available directly through school departments or other offices. Use our scholarship search tool to locate the contact information for individual scholarships. There are also many scholarships available from outside organizations and businesses and you can locate these through various scholarship search sites.

Kent State Financial Aid Scholarship Application    Kent State Financial Aid Scholarship Search

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are private loans that provide students with additional funding for unmet college expenses. To assist in your search, we do recommend using FastChoice.  FastChoice is a private loan selection option that allows students to compare lender rates, terms and benefits.

FastChoice lender options

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent undergraduate students are eligible to borrow funds under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program.  If the parent desires to borrow a Parent PLUS Loan to help with educational expenses, an application must be completed.

Go to the PLUS application Web site

    Fin-Aid Follow-up


    Check your financial aid status, view your financial aid award info, accept or decline financial aid awards and more .

    Visit FlashLine   Financial Aid Guide to FlashLine


    NSLDS  provides a centralized view of your federal loans and grants.

    Explore NSLDS

    Entrance Loan Counseling

    To ensure that you understand the responsibilities of borrowing a Direct Loan, the Department of Education requires all First Time Borrowers to participate in Entrance Counseling.

    Learn More About Kent State's Entrance Loan Counseling Info