Financial Aid FAQs | Kent State University

Financial Aid FAQs

Take a look at our financial aid FAQs. These answers will help you understand some of the financial aid process based on specific situations or circumstances.  If you have additional questions, please contact the One Stop for Student Services.

Q. 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. A student may have a combination of grants, loans, scholarships and employment for a financial aid award. There is some type of financial aid available regardless of your income.

Q. Who is eligible to receive financial aid?

A person must be officially admitted and enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program to receive federal aid funds. A regular student is someone who is officially accepted for enrollment for the purpose of obtaining a degree or approved certificate. If the student is merely allowed to take some courses before being officially admitted to the program (for example, a Guest student), the student is not considered to be a regular student and will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid until they are officially admitted to a degree or certificate program.

Q. How do I apply?

File as soon as possible after October 1 each year.  

The priority processing deadline for the Kent State Student Financial Office is December 1.  To ensure maximum financial aid eligibility, complete the FAFSA no later than February 1.  Please visit our Applying for Aid page for more details on specific award years.

Students may apply for financial aid on the Web at the federal government's FAFSA website. In addition, visit the Federal and State Aid page

Visit the federal government's "Frequently Asked Questions" on the FAFSA page.

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 (incoming Freshman only) to the student. Continuing students will receive an email award letter.  As subsequent adjustments are made to your financial aid, 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. 

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. Once this is determined, the student financial aid office is able to determine the types and amounts of federal, state, local and institutional aid you are entitled to receive. These include both need and non-need based aid. Once the award(s) have been determined the student is mailed an official financial aid notification, often called an "award letter".

Cost of Attendance Example

 Cost of Attendance $12,000 - Expected Family Contribution $3,500 = Financial Need $8,500

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). If your Student Aid Report indicates you were selected for verification and you plan to attend Kent State University, the student will be contacted and the request the appropriate documentation will be addressed. 

Participation in the Verification process is not optional. If the student does not submit the requested documentation, the student will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid as a Kent State University student and parents of dependent students will not be eligible to receive a PLUS loan.

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 the One Stop for Student Services. 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 Kent State University. Kent State University will determine the eligibility amount.  A credit check will be processed by the Loan Origination Center (LOC). Kent State University (and the parent) will receive notification of the credit decision . If you passed the credit review, a promissory note needs to be assigned. Visit to complete your master promissory note.

If the student has maintained the eligibility requirements, the net amount of the loan (loan amount borrowed minus an 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 the student may be able to receive additional federal unsubsidized loan funds.

Q. When will I receive my financial aid?

Financial aid cannot be disbursed to your student account until you complete all processing requirements, including promissory notes, Verification, etc. Provided all steps have been completed, financial aid will disburse 10 days prior to the start of each semester. Refunds are processed for students who have financial aid awards that exceed their bill for the semester.