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Frequently Asked Questions

Deciding on and applying for college can be a confusing time, especially for parents. The questions and answers provided on this page are intended to help parents navigate through the college experience at Kent State University.

If your questions weren’t answered on these pages, then feel free to contact us. Phone, write, or email us with your and we promise to do all that we can to assist you. Our doors are always open, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

FAQ Index:
General University Questions

Q: How do I contact the school for general information?
A: For more information about Kent State, please feel free to call us at 330-672-3000 or send us an email at info@kent.edu.

Q: What accommodations are available when visiting my child?
A: For accommodation information when visiting your child at the Kent Campus, please see our local lodging options. For information on student housing visitation, please the Residence Hall visitation policy.

Q: How long will it take my student to complete their degree?
A: The length of degree completion depends on the amount of classes your student takes each semester and the selected major. For the initial group of all full time undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree entering in the fall 1998 semester:

  • 16 percent completed their program in four years or less
  • 41 percent completed their program in five years or less
  • 49 percent completed their program in six years or less

Q: How will I be able to contact my child?
A: Communication with your child is available by phone, e-mail, mail, etc. Every Kent State student will receive a unique email address for his or her own academic use. If your child did not bring his or her own computer to school, there are numerous computer labs available throughout campus for your child 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.

Q: What does Kent State do to promote diversity?
A: At Kent State, we are committed to engaging, understanding, and respecting differences and similarities among people and cultures. The Office of Diversity is dedicated to fostering an understanding of diversity through academic curricular initiatives and programs. And the Student Multicultural Center serves as an advocate in assuring the successful enrollment, retention, and graduation of under-represented undergraduate students.


Living on Campus


Q: What living arrangements will be available for my child?

A: Students at Kent State University are housed in a variety of residence halls. The Residence Services website will assist in answering all of your housing questions.

Q: What are meal plan options for students?
A: For students residing on the Kent Campus, there are many meal plan options available through Dining Services that can be tailored to meet the needs of your child. The Kent Campus also offers many dining options for our commuter students, faculty, and staff.

Q: What should my son or daughter do if they are having a roommate problem or concern?
A: Getting used to a roommate can be traumatic for a new student. Because of the newness of the situation and their desire to get along, some students may not confront their roommate about a problem until it has festered and been compounded with other problems. In that situation, even the smallest of disagreements can be blown out of proportion.

Encourage your student to establish honest and open communication with his or her roommate. Don’t encourage him/her to move immediately. Encourage them to talk with their roommate, and if necessary go together to the resident assistant to work out a living plan. With time and effort each roommate may come to enjoy and learn from the other, no matter how different they are. If there appears to be a problem involving safety and drugs, encourage him/her to report the situation to the residence life staff.


Student Life


Q: What is the biggest challenge my student will face their first semester?
A: 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. Check out our Be Informed site for helpful tips.

Q: What will my child be doing when he or she is not in class?
A: Along with the studying and work required for their academic program, you child will have plenty of time for socializing and participating in campus activities and organizations. With almost 100 years of service, Kent State University has a great deal of history and points of interest to offer our students. There are also many exciting area attractions in the Northeast Ohio region.

Q: Does my student need to join a fraternity or a sorority to fit in?
A: 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 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.


Curriculum and Instruction


Q: What will my child's course schedule be like?

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

Q: What if my student is not proficient in a certain subject area? Where can they go for help?
A: 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 located in Satterfield Hall and the Mathematics Assistance Program, with multiple locations on campus, are among the more popular tutoring services.

Q: How challenging is academic life at Kent State?
A: 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 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.

Q: Can I obtain a copy of my students’ grades?
A: 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 which 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 child'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. For more information on FERPA, visit our Registrar’s Office.

Q: What study abroad options are available for Kent State undergraduates?
A: Kent State offers numerous opportunities for students to study abroad and this information can be accessed through the Study Abroad Resources site. While earning credit toward graduation, your student can engage in a life-changing experience, practice a language of study, and learn about other cultures. The Study Abroad 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.

Q: What is the average class size?
A: The student-to-faculty ratio at the Kent Campus is 16.6 to 1, with an average class size of fewer than 26 students. The class size will vary depending on if it is a LER (Liberal Education Requirement) class held in a large lecture hall or if it is an advanced class in a specific major.

Q: What are LERs?
A: LERs are Liberal Education Requirements, which must be completed for any Kent State bachelor’s degree. The student must complete at least 36 hours of LERs, the courses cannot be in the students’ major and they cannot be pass-fail. LERs are taken in 6 basic areas: Composition; Mathematics, Logic, and Foreign Languages; Humanities and Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Basic Sciences; and Diversity. The specific courses that meet the LER requirements are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Q: How can students survive in large classes?
A: 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/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.

Q: What is the “right” number of hours for a student to take their first semester?
A: The average number of hours for a student to take their 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 their class schedule.

Q: May students bring a tape recorder or laptop to class?
A: It is the professor’s decision to permit tape recorders or laptops in class. The student should consult the professor before using their equipment in class.

Q: Will my son/daughter graduate in four years?
A: Only approximately 15% of Kent State students graduate in four years. There are many possible reasons for this. 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. Having said 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.

Q: What grades should we not get worried about? Is a “C” okay?
A: It is important to remember that college is a major transition for any student. Balancing a new school, professors, peers, rules and independence is tricky for a new student. Your student will be no exception. As they settle in and learn more about their new environment, they will be better equipped for the following semesters. A “C” is not unusual. However, it is important to remember that it is much easier for a student to damage their GPA then it is for them to improve it. Kent State offers a Freshman Forgiveness Policy. Any freshman student, (who has completed 30 or less credit hours) may retake a class they received a “D” or “F” in and have their new grade recalculated in their cumulative GPA. See the Undergraduate Catalog for more specific details.

Q: What sort of competition will my student be facing?
A: There are two types of competition that will challenge your son/daughter. They are academic and personal. Often, the two are in conflict and the student must grapple with prioritizing values. Because of the rigorous admission requirements at Kent State University, students will be meeting, competing and becoming friends with some of the highest achievers in their age groups. Some will see this as motivational and exciting, others as challenging and scary. You can offer support by emphasizing the importance of exploring different options to see where their interests lie. Encourage students to do their best and not compare themselves to others. Research indicates that successful people identify their unique interests, and then work hard in pursuit of them.



Cost and Financial Aid


Q: What scholarships are available and how does my child apply for them?
A: 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.

Q: How much does it cost to attend Kent State University?
A: The Bursar's Office offers a full range of payment options and information regarding tuition costs.

Q: Where can I find information about housing and food services costs?
A: 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.

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

Q: How much money does my son/daughter need?
A: The amount of money a college student needs will vary depending on their personal spending habits. If your son/daughter always has to have the latest CD or the newest clothes, 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 in August. 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.


Student Services, Resources and Opportunities


Q: What is Welcome Weekend?

A: 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 child well for the adventure that lies ahead. More information is available on the Student Success website.

Q: Can students have cars at Kent State? Is a car necessary for the campus?
A: If a students wishes to bring their 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 freshmen commuter parking lot permit located at the 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.

Q: Does my child need to bring a computer to campus?
A: 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 E-mail accessibility. As a Kent State student, students are assigned @kent.edu E-mail account and have free access to the Internet.

Q: Does the university help students find a job on-campus?
A: 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.

Q: I’m concerned that my son/daughter does not know what they want to do for a career – where can they get assistance?
A: It’s normal for students not to know what they want to do upon graduation or even now in selecting a major. 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 Michael Schwartz Center, can be of special assistance to students in discovering their skills, abilities, interests, personality characteristics, values, etc. and how those relate to the selection of a major and ultimately a career decision. Your son/daughter should also talk to their 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.

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

Q:Should my son/daughter work during their first semester?
A: If the student has a desire to work, they 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 a student is 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.


Admissions


Q: How does my child apply?
A: The application process is made simple and effortless through our online Admissions Office. Apply online today!

Q: Are there audition requirements for any of the programs?
A: There are select programs that do 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.


Health and Safety

Q: How safe is Kent State University?
A: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. If you would like to learn more about the university police department, go to the university police department website.

Q: My child has special needs that I feel the staff should know about. Whom should I notify?
A: 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.

Q: Where can I find information about Health Services for my student?
A: 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. For more information, go to University Health Services website.

Q: Will Kent State advise me if my student is having difficulty?
A: 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.

Q: What should my student do if he/she is having academic problems?
A: 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.

Q: What should my student do if they are having social problems?
A: 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. The Psychological Services Department of University Health Services provides counseling, crisis intervention, psychological testing, and consultations for students with a variety of mental health concerns. 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. The Psychological Clinic offers specialized services in eating disorders, child assessment and therapy, personality assessment, forensic assessment, parental fitness evaluations, and neuropsychological assessment.

Q: What should parents do when their student is having difficulties?
A: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.

Q: How do I contact my child if there is an emergency?
A: 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 son or daughter as quickly as possible and arrange telephone communication if necessary.

Q: What is the University’s policy on alcohol and drugs?
A: 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.




Parental Support

Q: Will my relationship change with my son/daughter after they go off to college?

A: You shouldn’t expect your relationship with your child 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.

Q: What should my student do if he/she becomes homesick?
A: 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.

Q: What can I do to help my student deal with the transition to college?
A: Be aware of difficult times of the year. Tune into midterms, vacations, finals, etc. 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 e-mail your student. This will remind your son/daughter 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 son/daughter, 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!

Q: What should I expect when my student returns home for the first time?
A: 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.