Frequently Asked Questions

It’s only natural to have questions when you’re thinking of attending university in the USA. Below we’ve compiled information based on a few of the most common questions we receive at the International Admissions office.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What type of academic credentials does Kent State require for admissions?

Academic credentials are the accurate and complete record of a student's academic coursework performance at an institution, presented in either electronic format or paper format. These may include, but are not limited to: transcripts, detailed mark sheets, diplomas, degree certificates, provisional degree certificates, statements of marks, certificates of graduation, etc.


What if my academic credentials are not in English?

If your institution does not issue academic credentials in English, you must submit them in both the original language and a certified English translation. Translations must be literal rather than interpretive. Notarized documents and third party credential evaluations (WES, ECE) are not acceptable.


Do you accept WES (World Education Services) document evaluations?

We do not accept evaluations from World Education Services or any other third-party. We must have originals (or copies of originals) in both the issuing language and an English translation. We evaluate them ourselves according to Kent State’s policies.

In some instances International Admissions may request that applicants submit a WES ICAP Evaluation for verification purposes.


When do I need to submit financial documents?

Financial documentation does not need to be submitted until after acceptance. You are welcome to submit your documents if you have them ready, but doing so is not required during the initial application process.


When should I submit my academic credentials?

We cannot start processing an application until we receive all of the required admission materials, so please submit your academic credentials as soon as possible.


Where do I send or submit my academic credentials?

Whenever possible, please send official credentials to the International Admissions office, as this is the preferred option.

For admissions purposes, we can accept scanned copies of academic credentials from international institutions. We can also accept scanned copies of official U.S. credentials - please send them as PDFs to and be sure to include your Kent State ID number (a nine digit number that starts with 8...).

If you are admitted, you will be required to bring the original and official documents with you to be verified by the International Admissions office.


Do I need to submit a letter of reference with my application?

Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit this letter; it is required for graduate applications. Applicants may submit a recommendation form or a regular letter of reference. Providing both documents is preferable for most graduate departments.

A letter of reference is an official letter from a former or present professor, employer or adviser who can attest to your ability to pursue graduate study. He or she can also address your moral character. Please do not send letters of reference from family members or personal friends.

It is your responsibility to contact your references and provide them with information on how to submit a letter of reference. They can email it as a PDF attachment to if preferable.


What documents does Kent State need after I am admitted?

If you are accepted to Kent State University, you will need to bring in a hard copy of your final and official documents (International and U.S. transcript, mark sheet, diploma, etc.) to the Office of Global Education before you can register for your second semester (or second module for ESL students) of classes.

Failure to do so will result in a hold on your account preventing you from registering for classes.


How can I qualify for an Application Fee Waiver?

An application fee waiver is available for students who meet at least one of the indicators of financial need listed on the Common Application. It will require your college counselor to complete the approval page in order to validate the fee waiver.

In addition, if you are requesting a fee waiver based on financial hardship, please also submit a statement letter explaining how you are planning to pay for tuition, as our merit-based scholarship does not cover full tuition and living expenses at Kent State.

You can also qualify for an application fee waiver if you filled out an interest form during an International Admissions Counselor's overseas visit or during a campus visit program hosted by Kent State International Admissions Office.


How much does it cost to study at Kent State?

Please see our Fees & Tuition page for details.


What is financial aid?

Financial aid is funding to assist paying for your college education that comes from sources outside of your family. Gift aid and self-help aid are two categories of financial aid.

  • Gift aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships and does not have to be repaid.
  • Self-help 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. Your financial aid might include a combination of grants, loans, scholarships and part-time employment.


How can I learn about scholarship opportunities?

Please visit our International Student Scholarships Resources page for more info.


Can my government help me pay for an American education?

Governments all over the world offer grants and scholarships to enable their students to study in the USA. Please see our Sponsored Students page for more info.

Conditional Admission & Transfer Students


How do I qualify for Conditional Admission?

If your fluency in English doesn’t quite meet our entry requirements, then you could consider enrolling conditionally. Conditional Admission enables you to take English language classes at our ESL Center before entering your program.

  • Undergraduate students - If you do not meet the minimum language score for admission then you may be admitted conditionally if you meet academic requirements.
  • Graduate students - If you are applying to a graduate program then you must submit all required application materials, which includes proof of English proficiency. Otherwise, you must apply directly to the ESL program. The completion of ESL does not guarantee admission to a graduate program.

Please check the English Language Proficiency Requirements for more information.



I have credits from another institution. Will Kent State accept them?

International Admissions plays only a small role in the process of transferring international credits. We determine what the equivalent credit hours and grades are, but it is your responsibility to meet with an academic advisor to see how these courses fit into your major at Kent State. We cannot guarantee all your credits will transfer to exact equivalents in your Kent program. If possible, please bring course syllabi and descriptions in English to make this process easier.

Defer, Change or Reapply for Admission

What if I want to defer or change my enrollment start time?

If you are admitted to Kent State University and choose to attend another institution, you cannot defer your current application. If you want to apply in the future, then you would need to reapply using your same login and account identification.

It is very important to list the current school you are attending on your application and to have your new transcripts sent to ensure the most accurate and current academic information is reflected on your application.


What is the difference between deferring my admission versus deferring my I-20?

Deferring your admission means to wait to start your studies in a later semester. You can defer your admission for up to one year. Contact for information on how to defer your admission.

Deferring your I-20 means that you intend to start studying remotely or online, but you do not plan to come to Kent State this semester. You can defer your I-20 by contacting


What information does Kent State need from me if I want to defer?

Your application documents and fee are valid for a year. If you are qualified for a deferral and would like to defer or change to a different term, please provide us with the following information by email or a written request:

  • Your deferral request (with your name and ID and which term you would like to change to);
  • Updated transcripts if applicable;
  • Updated financial documents if your financial documents have expired.


What happens after I submit my request to defer?

Your new admissions letter and I-20 will take five business days to be processed. You will receive an email with tracking information once your I-20 and admission package is sent to the address that you provided. To inquire on the status of your I-20, please contact


I applied but wasn’t offered a place at Kent State. Can I reapply?

If you have been denied admission, we cannot defer your application.

If you are still interested in the program, you may consider applying again for the next available term. We recommend you reach out to to find out if this is a suitable course of action for you.


How do I know if I need to reapply for admission?

You would need to submit a new application if you fall into one of these two categories:

  • You previously applied to Kent State University but decided to attend another institution; or
  • Your previous application was rejected and you wish to be considered for a different program.

In these instances, you will need to pay your application fee again with your new application.

Covid-19 – University Policies

Where can I get more information on Kent State’s Covid policies and response?

Please see our main university coronavirus hub for a wealth of information, or check our main university Frequently Asked Questions Covid page for institution-wide info on classes and life on campus.


What are Kent State’s plans for Fall 2021 semester?

We expect that a large percentage of courses that are traditionally offered in person will return to in-person instruction. For those who are more comfortable with remote courses, this format still will be available for many courses.

Kent State continues to adhere to the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as interpreted by our local health officials. Following this guidance, classroom seating for students will be three feet apart for fall semester, provided we continue to keep our number of Covid-19 cases low and continue to follow the safety guidelines of the CDC and the state of Ohio.

Face coverings are always required inside the classroom. For up-to-date information on facial covering requirements, please see Facial Covering and Social Distancing Guidelines.

While the 3-foot distance guideline does not allow all in-person classes to resume at full capacity, our in-classroom capacity has significantly increased from the spring 2021 semester and the number of courses we offer in-person is nearing pre-pandemic levels. Some academic programs have more in-person classroom capacity than others. This depends largely on the facilities available for classroom use, the curriculum of the program and the availability of instructors to teach in-person. We continue to work with academic departments to increase the number of in-person classes and experiences by adding additional instructors and further maximizing the use of space.

Please refer to our Re-opening the Campus page for more information.


What should I expect if I’m planning to arrive at Kent State in Fall 2021?

For fall semester 2021, international students/travelers arriving on campus are expected to follow the CDC guidelines:

  • Mandatory COVID-19 test before flying into the U.S.
  • Get tested three to five days after arriving in the U.S.
  • Self-quarantine upon arrival for seven days with a negative test, or 10 days without a test. This step is not required for those who are fully vaccinated.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering and follow the Flashes Safe Eight protocols during travel.


Will Kent State require testing on campus?

Widespread testing is available to Kent State students, faculty and staff, and in some cases, is required.


Is Kent State requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2021 Fall Semester?

Please see this page for up-to-date vaccine information.


What is the academic calendar for Fall 2021?

Our schedule for the fall semester returns to a traditional format, beginning August 26 and ending December 12, with final exams held December 13-19. Fall break returns this year from October 14-17, and Thanksgiving break from November 24-28. Students will return to campus after Thanksgiving to finish out the semester. See our full calendar for more details.

Covid-19 – International Admissions

What type of English language tests are you now accepting for admissions?

English proficiency test scores are required for admission. Effective Fall 2020, we now permanently accept Duolingo English Test (DET) as proof of English proficiency. Additionally, IELTS and Pearson Vue online tests, IELTS indicator, TOEFL home version and TOEFL ITP Plus will be temporarily accepted as approved examinations for English proficiency requirements. The Graduate program DET score requirements vary by program.


What about GRE and GMAT requirements?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE testing has temporarily been waived from the application process for a number of our graduate programs – both master's and doctoral. For programs still requiring GRE and GMAT, at-home exam testing is now an available option, but we still ask that you contact us before moving forward with this testing option.


How do I submit my test scores?

Test agencies are still operating and we are monitoring all incoming scores. If you are experiencing difficulties sending your test score, please reach out to us at Your request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


How can I participate in a campus tour?

You can explore our beautiful campus in four different ways:


How can I submit my application documents?

We encourage you to send your application documents through an electronic vendor service or send your materials to Our postal mail is still received weekly; however, please expect a delay at this time with mail services around the world.


What if I have difficulties obtaining my academic transcripts due to a school closure?

We are glad to work with you regarding alternative documents instead of the final and official academic credentials. For example, we can take a scanned copy of your academic credentials for admissions purposes. If you have any concerns, please reach out to one of our International Admissions Counselors.


When are the deadlines for scholarships?

Please see our Scholarships Resources page for details and deadlines.

Covid-19 – Newly Admitted Students

How can I get my I-20?

Once you are admitted, you will need an immigration document in order to obtain your student visa. Our I-20 team will continue sending out I-20s with the DHL courier service. If mail delivery is not available in your country, an electronic I-20 will be issued. Please see our immigration page to learn more about applying for your I-20.


Do I need to notarize my financial documents and affidavit of support in order to get my I-20?

Given the current Covid-19 situation and to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, you are not required to submit notarized financial documents during this time. However, we still require proof of sufficient finances. Please refer to this page to apply for immigration documents.


How can I get a U.S. visa?

Routine visa service in the U.S. Embassies and Consulates are starting to resume service. Please check your local embassy and consulate for any updates. Consulate wait times can be accessed through the US Department of State website.


If the U.S. consulates and embassies do not reopen in time for me to apply for a student visa, what options do I have?

If you are unable to apply for a student visa in time to begin university due to the embassy closures and delays, you have the option to defer your admission for up to one year. If this is something that interests you, please contact International Admissions at to discuss the steps.


What if I need to change my starting term?

If you are unable to arrive on campus due to visa delays or for any unforeseen circumstances, you can reach out to us at to defer your application to the next available term. Your application and application fee are valid for one year. If you wish to start classes remotely, we will look into remote options for you to start classes through distance learning. Your academic success is important to Kent State University!

If you only intend to study remotely temporarily or you are interested in deferring your admission, please notify us of your plans by submitting the Deferral Request Form. This form will let International Admissions and the team that creates your I-20 know that changes need to be made. If you already have an I-20, then you will need an updated immigration document. This form will help us to take the necessary steps to provide that document to you.


If I begin remote courses at Kent State, can I transition to in-person courses once everything returns to normal?

You can start your classes remotely. Please note that due to the uncertainty of the visa approval process, if you are rejected for a visa for any reason, you might run the risk of starting a program remotely that you cannot complete in person. If the program selected has a fully online option, then there should not be any issues. We encourage you to reach out to us at if you have any concerns.


What do I need to know if I plan to take classes in Fall 2021?

Please see our Fall 2021 Enrollments page for detailed information for new and continuing students regarding course loads, orientation, visas, travelling, academic advising and more.


What else do I need to know as a recently admitted student?

Please see our dedicated page for Newly Admitted Students for more information such as documents, orientation, your online student account and more.