Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Our goal is to assist you in helping your student navigate their college journey. We know the only way you can truly inspire confidence in your student is to feel confident in us. That’s why the best thing you can do is research and explore all the resources available here. We offer financial aid and budgeting guidance. We promote health and safety on campus. We also make use of every social avenue to stay connected with you.

Let us know if you can't find what you are looking for

General University Questions

How do I contact the school for general information?

Start by searching our website to find the department that can best answer your questions, whether it is admissions, global education or residence services. Still can’t find what you are looking for? Then feel free to contact us.

What accommodations and dining locations are available when visiting my student?

With the city of Kent becoming a rising college town and the university’s proximity to other metropolitan areas and national park systems, you will find lots of options:

How will I be able to contact my student?

Communication with your student is available by phone, email and mail. Every Kent State student will receive a unique email address for his or her own academic use. If your student did not bring his or her own computer to school, there are numerous computer labs available throughout campus for your student to use. Many students are relying on cell phones as opposed to the land-line phones located in the residence halls. Each student who resides on campus has his or her own mailbox for postal service.

How do I contact my student if there is an emergency?

Emergencies including the serious illnesses of family members arise from time to time that require rapid communication between a family and their student. In the event of an emergency, you can contact Kent State Polices Services at 330-673-3111 and ask them to help you make contact. They will arrange to locate your student as quickly as possible and arrange telephone communication if necessary.

What does Kent State do to promote diversity?

At Kent State, we are committed to engaging, understanding and respecting differences and similarities among people and cultures. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is dedicated to fostering an understanding of diversity through academic curricular initiatives and programs.

The university is home to the:

Student Multicultural Center

The Student Multicultural Center serves as an advocate in assuring the successful enrollment, retention, and graduation of under-represented undergraduate students.
Learn More About the Multicultural Center

The LGBTQ Student Center

Located on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, the LGBTQ Student Center serves as the academic and social hub for the university's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students.

Learn More about the LGBTQ Center

The Women's Center

Kent State University's Women’s Center exists to facilitate the advancement of and to enhance the quality of educational experience and professional life for women students, faculty and staff of all campuses.
Learn More about the Women's Center

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Admissions, Costs & Financial Aid

When applying, are there audition requirements for any of the programs?

Select programs require audition requirements, which include the School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance. For further information, please contact the appropriate academic department.

What scholarships are available, and how does my student apply for them?

Kent State University offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for students enrolled at the Kent Campus and the Regional Campuses. Scholarship awards are based on a variety of criteria. Selection of winners will be made based on academic merit, demonstrated financial need, field of study, participation in a specific program, organization or activity, and/or any combination of the above. Visit the online scholarship resources for more information.

How much does it cost to attend Kent State University?

Find at-a-glance costs on our general tuition or visit the Bursar's website to access a full range of tuition costs and payment options.

What financial aid does Kent State offer? How do I contact the Financial Aid office?

There are four basic types of financial aid: scholarships, grants, loans and Federal Work Study. Find out more by visiting the Student Financial Aid office online.

How much money does my student need once they arrive on campus?

The amount of money a college student needs will vary depending on his or her personal spending habits. If your student always has to have the latest things, they may need more money than another student who is more of a “saver.” This is an important conversation to have, prior to your student’s arrival on campus. One suggestion is to draw up a four-year budget detailing costs, what parents and the student are each paying for and who is responsible for paying expenses if the student is faced with being in college for five or six years. Consider budgeting for a travel abroad experience.

Is there an easy way for me to pay my student’s bill?

Visit the Bursar’s website for payment deadlines, options an a link to pay online. Some students also opt to grant a designee access to pay bills via KSUView.

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Living on Campus & Away From Home

Does my student have to live on campus?

Kent State's housing policy requires that all single students enrolled for at least 9 credit hours live in a residence hall and participate in the food plan for their first four semesters or until they attain junior standing. Through our residence halls, students have an opportunity to personalize their living experience. Each of our halls offers a multitude of programming from laundry tips to surviving your first semester.

What are my student’s on-campus housing options?

Kent State’s Department of Residence Services features 25 residence halls to choose from, some of which include living-learning communities.

Can students have cars at Kent State? Is a car necessary for the campus?

If a student wishes to bring his or car to the university, a parking permit must be purchased, and student must follow the parking rules and regulations enforced by our Parking Services Department. Freshman residence hall students who have earned less than 30 hours may only apply for a freshman commuter parking lot permit located at the Dix Stadium. Please see the Kent Campus parking map for more details. PARTA Bus Service is used to transport students to campus every 8-12 minutes. On-site security is provided 24 hours/day, 7 days/week at the stadium location.

Other transportation options include free bicycle rentals and car rentals.

My student is anxious about living away from home. How can I support them?

Know that residence services is committed to providing giving students a safe and secure environment, in which they can grow academically. We know college students spend more than half of their time outside of class and because of this we feel that it is important to provide our students with the resources that will make the transition from living at home to living independently a smooth transition.

Find more specific answers to to these questions in the residence services parents guide:

  • Living-learning communities and benefits
  • The importance of student involvement on campus
  • What your student should do if they are having a roommate problem or concern
  • Homesickness
  • Important phone numbers, including as residence hall director phone list
  • Student housing visitation

Additional Information

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Student Life

What is the biggest challenge my student will face during their first semester?

The biggest challenge college students have is accepting responsibility for their educational experience, living arrangements, social life and free time. Kent State classes require initiative and independence, critical thinking and writing skills, and independent research. Life in the residence halls is similarly challenging as students with a diverse range of experiences and values work together to develop patterns for studying and living together. These resources will be helpful:

What will my student be doing when he or she is not in class?

Along with the studying and work required for their academic program, your student will have plenty of time for socializing and participating in campus activities and organizations or working on campus, which can become a resume builder.

Find out about:

Does my student need to join a fraternity or a sorority to fit in?

There are many opportunities for students to find their niche on campus. One of those ways is certainly by joining a fraternity or sorority. These Greek organizations offer students opportunities for development in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service. They can also provide life-long relationships and connections to other alumni members across the country. If a Greek organization doesn’t feel like the right “fit” for your student, many other student organizations, both social and academic, are available.

Search Greek Organizations Search Student Organizations

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Curriculum & Instruction

How challenging is academic life at Kent State?

Students should expect to face more demanding expectations in the college classroom that require two or three times more work than in high school. College students are also expected to manage their own time effectively, do more reading, questioning, thinking and writing on their own. To assist students with their development, Kent State University faculty want students to do their best and are eager to help students work through intellectual challenges and to improve their academic skills.

What will my student's course schedule be like?

Your student's course schedule will depend on the major that your student has selected. Incoming freshman students at the Kent Campus register for their classes during Destination Kent State: Advising and Registration after meeting one-on-one with an academic advisor in their field of study. Invitations to attend Destination Kent State: Advising and Registration will be mailed in early spring.

For additional information, please contact the Student Success Programs Office at 330-672-9292.

The academic year at Kent State University consists of two semesters - fall and spring - each approximately 15 weeks in length. Several summer sessions are available. A full-time student will typically take 12-15 credit hours per semester.

What is the “right” number of hours for a student to take the first semester?

The average number of hours for a student to take the first semester is 14-16. For the Honors College, 17 is the average. At orientation, a number of professionals will assist your student in putting together the class schedule.

What if my student is not proficient in a certain subject area? Where can they go for help?

Tutoring Services are available at a number of locations on the Kent Campus. The Academic Success Center located in the Schwartz Center, the Writing Center and the Mathematics Assistance Program, with multiple locations on campus, are among the more popular tutoring services. Another valuable resource is University Advising.

What are Kent Core classes?

Kent Core classes, formerly called LERs or Liberal Education Requirements, must be completed for any Kent State bachelor’s degree. The specific courses that meet the Kent Core requirements are listed in the University Catalog.

What is the average class size?

The student-to-faculty ratio at the Kent Campus is 20 to 1, with an average class size of fewer than 20 students. The class size will vary depending on whether it is a Kent Core class if it is an advanced class in a specific major.

How can students succeed in large classes?

It is important for the students to be consistent in their class attendance. If they need additional assistance outside of class, they can approach the professor during his or her office hours and tutoring may be available in the department through which the class is offered. It can be helpful to find a study partner in the class to pair up with to share notes and prepare for exams together.

Will my student graduate in four years?

Approximately 15 percent of Kent State students graduate in four years. There are multiple reasons for this.

Possible graduation delays

One reason is that the student changes their major one or more times. This may mean the need to take additional classes toward the new degree. Another reason is that students may take fewer than 15 credit hours per semester. In order to stay on track with the required number of hours for graduation, students must take at least 15 and sometimes up to 18 credit hours a semester, or attend summer school. Often students work schedules are such that they cannot take 15 or more hours.

Helping students stay on track

Despite all of this it is possible for a student to graduate in four years, if they stay focused, meet regularly with their advisor and take the appropriate number of credit hours each semester. To support the goal of degree completion in four years, Kent State’s academic programs enable your student to rely on the Graduation Planning System (GPS). GPS includes roadmaps, listings of courses and the time by which to target completion of those classes to progress toward graduation. Progress can be monitored by your student via FlashLine.

Course Repeat Policy

There are multiple reasons that a student may retake a course already completed at Kent State. View the policy for more details.

Course Repeat Policy

Can I obtain a copy of my student’s grades?

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), institutions of higher education are restricted in the information that can be released from a student's educational record. A general rule of thumb that will prevent any possible violation of FERPA, is not to share a student's information with anyone other than the student. Parents of dependent students as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 may have access to their student's records provided they have demonstrated satisfactory evidence of the student's dependent status, and that students be notified of all such requests in advance of compliance.

Granting Access

However, some students may choose to grant a designee access to view grades, see class schedules, pay bills or one of these items via KSUView.

Understanding FERPA Details

What education abroad options are available for Kent State undergraduates?

Kent State offers more than 60 education abroad locations. While earning credit towards graduation, your student can engage in a life-changing experience, practice a language of study and learn about other cultures. The Global Education website is a helpful tool for individuals considering international studies. Kent State also offers the National Student Exchange Program, which provides the opportunity for a global exchange experience for students.

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Student Services, Resources & Opportunities

What is Welcome Weekend?

The Welcome Weekend program for new students is designed to help you and your student have a better understanding of the college experience. It is especially relevant if the student will be the first in your family to attend college. It is important to understand that the first year of college is a time for change and growth and this program is designed to answer your questions and to help you feel confident about beginning your student’s Kent State experience. Both you and your student will experience issues dealing with separation, letting go and new beginnings, as well as fabulous new opportunities. During this time, it is essential that you offer your daughter or son support, understanding and, most importantly, trust. Remember, you have prepared your student well for the adventure that lies ahead.

Support Your Student's Success

Does my student need to bring a computer to campus?

Although students are welcome to bring computers to campus and are encouraged to do so, the campus provides adequate access to conveniently located computer labs. Students should check with the individual academic offices regarding computer availability. Kent State University is wired for computer Internet and email accessibility. As a Kent State student, students are assigned email account and have free access to the Internet.

I’m concerned that my student does not know what he or she wants to do for a career – where can he or she get assistance? Or what if they decide to change majors?

It’s normal for students not to know what they want to do upon graduation or even selecting a major when they apply. While some students may have clear ideas about their selection of a major, that may change as they are exposed to new areas of study and more clearly understand the world of work and their own skills and abilities. The Career Services Center, located in the Schwartz Center, can help your student identify their skills, abilities, interests and personality characteristics, values, and see how those relate to the selection of a major and ultimately a career decision. Your student should also talk to his or her academic advisor and professors about specific areas of interest and academic majors and career opportunities.

Many offices and academic departments offer internship or extern opportunities that can assist a student in gaining exposure and experience in a variety of career fields. University Advising also offers information on how to change a major or add a minor.

What is FlashCash?

FlashCash is a prepaid debit account that allows students to use their FLASHCard (Kent State ID card) in various food venues, computer labs, bookstore, copy machines and many off-campus businesses. Cash may be added to a student’s account in three ways: by going to the FlashCard Office on the first floor of the Kent Student Center, by calling 330-672-2273.

FLASHCard Details

Should my student work during their first semester?

If the student has a desire to work, he or she should be encouraged to do so, for a limited number of hours. Many students working on campus average 10-15 hours a week. Most on-campus departments are willing to work with the students’ schedule, typically being more flexible than off-campus employers. Having an on-campus job can actually help students to organize their time better and make valuable contacts on campus. However, if students are concerned about the effect working may have on their schedule, it might be better to wait until the second semester before they get a job.

Does the university help students find a job on-campus?

Students can check the listing for on- and off-campus jobs available on the Career Services website. It is the students’ responsibility to get in touch with the contact person listed for the available jobs. A great opportunity for students who are work-study eligible is to participate in the AMERICA READS/AMERICA COUNTS program. Tutors offer assistance to students in grades K-8. Call the Office of Campus Life at 330-672-2480 for more information.

What other academic or social opportunities should I be aware of that might be helpful or of interest to my student?

Explore and discover Kent State and beyond.

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Health & Safety

How safe is Kent State University?

Kent State University is committed to the safety and security of all of our students. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics report, Kent State is ranked among the safest campuses in Ohio, based on the number of reported crimes. The university has been listed as the safest campus in Ohio six of the last 10 years.

Campus crime reports are posted on the U.S. Department of Education website. The university employs a number of security guards who work in conjunction with the university police department. Together, they patrol the campus around the clock to ensure the safety of our students.

Our residence hall security aides will escort anyone from one campus location to another for any reason by contacting them at 330-672-7004. Learn more about the university police department or to watch videos about available services university police department website.

How is my student notified of a dangerous situation on campus?

Your student is encouraged to sign up for FlashAlerts, text messages which are distributed to warn of danger or inform of campus closings. This type of information is also distributed to their Kent State email account, on the Kent State University website, in the university portal - FlashLine and via certain social media accounts.

My student has special needs that I feel the staff should know about. Whom should I notify?

Kent State's Student Accessibility Services office provides assistance to students with varying degrees and types of disabilities in order to maximize educational opportunity and academic potential. Types of disabilities include mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, speech impairments, specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, chronic health disorders, psychological disabilities and temporary disabilities. Students seeking services must provide documentation of their specific disability. Although a student may be eligible for services, specific accommodations are not extended by Student Accessibility Services unless they are requested. A student has the right to choose to use only a few of the accommodations available or to completely refuse special help.

Where can I find information about Health Services for my student?

University Health Services provides high-quality medical and psychological care, including prevention and treatment for Kent State University students. A full-service primary care clinic is available. Physicians are board-certified or board-eligible in their specialties, as are nurse practitioners and nurses. Radiology services, a laboratory, a pharmacy, a 24-hour nurse call-in service, physical therapy, women’s health services and psychological services are also available.

Access More Information

Will Kent State advise me if my student is having difficulty?

Our educational and student-development philosophy, as well as the professional confidentiality codes observed by medical and counseling professionals, and federal laws require us to honor a confidential relationship with students in nearly all matters affecting their lives at Kent State University. Consequently, we do not routinely report students’ occasional or ongoing academic, social, medical or personal problems to their parents. We contact families only when, in our best judgment, the student’s well-being demands a family consultation. In such cases, we usually ask the student to make the first contact with his or her parents.

What should my student do if he or she is having academic problems?

In the case of academic problems, the student should work closely with his or her professors and advisor, make use of the academic support services at Kent State University—and seek further advice from the dean of the college office if necessary. First-year students are often reluctant to acknowledge their difficulties. Please encourage them to bring their academic concerns to their faculty and advisors. They will help them assess their difficulties and develop a plan of action.

What should my student do if they are having social problems?

For social problems the student might work with the student residence-hall staff and with the administrative offices concerned with students’ aspirations and problems. Kent State offers a number of options that are available for students who want to speak to a counselor.

Counseling options available

Psychological Services

The Counseling and Psychological Services Department of University Health Services provides counseling, crisis intervention, psychological testing and consultations for students with a variety of mental health concerns.

Learn more about Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling & Human Development Center

The Kent State University Counseling and Human Development Center provides personal counseling and human development services to members of the Kent State University community (Kent State students, faculty, staff and family members), and to non-Kent State area residents. In addition to individual, couples, and family therapy.

Learn more about Counseling and Human Development

Psychological Clinic

The Psychological Clinic offers specialized services in eating disorders, child assessment and therapy, personality assessment, forensic assessment, parental fitness evaluations and neuropsychological assessment.

Learn more about the Psychological Clinic

What should parents do when their student is having difficulties?

We understand it is not easy for parents to cope with their student having academic or social problems far from home. However, please be assured we are available to help and in our experience the large majority of students manage to work through and grow from the challenges they encounter. If your student is struggling, encourage them to ask for help. If you are uncertain about whom your student might call about a particular problem, the office of the dean of the college can counsel the student directly or make a referral.

What is the university’s policy on alcohol and drugs?

Kent State University prohibits illegal distribution and illegal use of drugs and alcohol and that sanctions will be consistently and strictly enforced for those who unlawfully possess, use or distribute these products. All students are subject to university conduct regulations, as well as local, state and federal laws. The strength of a university lies in its resources and its ability to effect change. The University offers treatment resources that are comprehensive and effective. Additional questions should be directed to the Student Ombuds at 330-672-4050.

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Parental Support


Download the Families Insider Guide

View the Housing Guide for Parents

Will my relationship change with my student after he or she goes off to college?

You shouldn’t expect your relationship with your student to be frozen in time from when they leave for college to when they come home to visit. They probably will change and become more independent in their first few months of school, and expect to be treated differently. They may want to test parental reaction to their growing sense of independence. You may already have experienced some of this testing. They may be staying out extra late or wearing sloppy clothes. Sometimes students also are rethinking views on religion, morals and politics. This doesn’t mean you need to accept all of these changes without batting an eye. However, it is doubtful whether laying down the law will do much to help the parent-child relationship. You will have to decide how important the differences are. Listening patiently to their ideas will help. Feel free to disagree, but do so in a way that acknowledges that you take their viewpoint seriously.

What should my student do if he or she becomes homesick?

First-year students face numerous challenges and some struggle at first. We advise them to give it a little time, get engaged with their academic work, eat the right foods, engage in regular exercise, get enough sleep, get into their academic work, invest in their relationships with their roommates, join a club or organization and establish a good working relationship with their advisor or another faculty or staff member.

The office of Student Success is committed to the continuing development of a supportive environment that will enable first-year students to build the strong base essential for academic and social success at Kent State University.

What can I do to help my student deal with the transition to college?

Be aware of difficult times of the year. Tune into midterms, vacations and final when a little extra support and attention may be beneficial. Encourage your student to set personal goals to address problems.

For example, if your student is having a difficult time meeting people, suggest a goal of initiating plans to eat meals with others as a start for social activity. You may want to set aside a certain time every week that you will call or email your student. This will remind your student that your focus is still very much on their happiness, and it may provide some of the attention we all yearn for when trying new things.

At all times try to understand that your student’s pain will go away. Part of being a parent is being there to help your student, but sometimes, the best and hardest thing to do is to let your student struggle and fall down. We’re all here to pick them up!

What should I expect when my student returns home for the first time?

This can be a tense time for both parents and students. Parents are struggling with wanting to let their children grow up, but also not wanting to let go. The student is fighting to gain independence and freedom. Yet they love to come home and be pampered by loving and concerned parents.

After a few months of college, many students change their daily living schedules. Staying up until all hours of the night and sleeping until the middle of the day is not uncommon. Such behavior at home can be a point of stress if parents are not expecting these new habits and freedoms. Freshmen are also developing increasingly independent lifestyles. They tend to eat only when hungry, not necessarily when a meal has been prepared. In addition, parents may expect their children to tell them where they are going when they leave the house, when the thought may no longer occur to the new college student.

Students also experience the reshaping of many attitudes. They’re exposed to new political and social ideas and cultures very different from those with which they are familiar. Exposure to new ideas does not guarantee change, but it can initiate a struggle for students whose ideas have never been challenged.

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