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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is financial aid?
  2. How can I apply for aid?
  3. Do I have to complete the FAFSA again next year?
  4. Should I apply for aid if I probably won't qualify?
  5. Is financial aid available for the summer term?
  6. How do I give permission to release my records?
  7. My parents are divorced - which parent's income do I include on the FAFSA?
  8. My parents are divorced, and the parent I am living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?
  9. How do I become an Independent Student for Federal Aid purposes?
  10. Who do I need to contact if I have special circumstances or questions regarding my financial aid?
  11. How much financial aid will I receive?
  12. How many credit hours are required to receive aid?
  13. I am taking classes at two schools; can I get financial aid at both schools?
  14. How will I be notified about my awards?
  15. Which programs are eligible for financial aid?
  16. What happens if I withdraw from my courses ?
  17. What is my cost of attendance (COA)?
  18. What is an overaward?
  19. What is verification?
  20. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
  21. What types of Loans are available?
  22. What types of Grants are available?
  23. What type of Scholarships are available?
  24. How will I receive KEES money?
  25. Is financial aid available for study abroad?
  26. What is Student Employment?
  27. How can I make a payment?
  28. How will I receive a refund?
  29. What are a student's Rights and Responsibilities?
  30. How do I contact EKU's Office of Student Financial Assistance?

 

1. What is financial aid?

Answer:

Financial aid is assistance to help finance your college education. This assistance is awarded to allow you to attend the school of your choice and to make it possible for you to complete your program of study. Money may be awarded in the form of grants, loans, employment, entitlements, or scholarships.

Financial aid is intended to supplement, not replace, financial contributions from you and your parents.

To find out if you are eligible for aid, what programs financial aid is sponsored by, and General Requirements to receive financial aid click here.

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2. How can I apply for financial aid?

Answer:

First, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. EKU's federal school code is 001963.

Once you are fully admitted to the university and the Office of Student Financial Assistance receives your information from the U. S. Department of Education, you will receive an award notification from EKU.

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3. Do I have to complete the FAFSA again next year?

Answer:

Yes, you must complete a FAFSA each academic year. You should apply as soon as possible after October 1st every year.  Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on you making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credit hours and achieving a minimum GPA. For additional information see: Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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4. Should I apply for aid if I probably won't qualify?

Answer:

Yes. The application is free, and some sources of aid (Federal Unsubsidized loans and Parent PLUS loans) are available regardless of need.

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5. Is financial aid available for the summer term?

Answer:

The availability of summer aid is dependent upon how much aid a student used during the school year and the student's grade level. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to find out if you have summer aid eligibility. Students must enroll at half-time (6 hours for undergraduates/4.5 hours for graduates) to be loan eligible.

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6. How do I give permission to release my records?

Answer:

Due to Federal privacy laws, the student must give written consent in order for the Office of Student Financial Assistance or the Office of Student Accounting Services to discuss any financial aid, scholarship or billing/account information with persons other than the student by the following means:

  • Phone
  • In person
  • U.S. and electronic mail

You, the student, must:

  • Complete the form in EKUDirect for immediate authorization:
    • Login to EKUDirect
    • Click on EKU eForms tab
    • Click on and then complete "Authorization to Release Financial Information"

OR

This authorization form does not allow the university to release academic information.

You may revoke this authorization in writing to:
EKU Office of Student Financial Assistance
Whitlock CPO 59, Room 251
521 Lancaster Avenue
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY 40475-3102

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7. My parents are divorced - which parent's information do I use on the FAFSA?

Answer:

If your natural parents are separated or divorced, use the natural parent with whom you lived the most in the past 12 months. If you lived with neither parent, or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent who provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months.

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8. My parents are divorced, and the parent I am living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?

Answer:

If the parent you are reporting on the FAFSA has remarried, you must also include the step parent's financial information on the application. Parent and stepparent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.

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9. How do I become an independent student for Federal Aid purposes?

Answer:

You may be considered independent if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • are, or will be, 24 years old by December 31stof the current award year,
  • are a veteran of the US Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty,
  • are married,
  • are in foster care, an orphan, or a ward of the court, or were in foster care or a ward of the court at any time since age 13
  • are, or were, an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • are, or were, in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • were determined to be an unaccompanied youth at risk of homelessness or who was declared homeless by your school district homeless liaison or the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program
  • have a child or legal dependent for whom you provide more than half of their physical and financial support, or
  • are enrolled in a graduate or professional program.

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10. Who do I need to contact if I have special circumstances or questions about my financial aid? 

Answer:

Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance and ask to speak with a counselor to discuss any circumstances that you feel may affect your financial aid eligibility. For additional information see: Professional Judgment Policy.

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11. How much financial aid will I receive?

Answer:

The amount of aid you are eligible to receive is determined by the information reported by your family on the FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education uses a formula to determine each student's EFC (estimated family contribution). The EFC determines if the student is eligible for grants and at what level, as well as the student’s loan eligibility.

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12.   How many credit hours are required to receive financial aid?

Answer:

Generally, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduate and 4.5 for graduate students) in required coursework to receive most types of aid, including Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans. However, a student may receive a Pell Grant for less than half-time enrollment.

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13. I am taking classes at two schools; can I get financial aid at both schools?

Answer:

No, a student can only receive financial assistance at one school. The school that you will be receiving your degree from is considered your "home school". Your home school will process your aid. If EKU is your home school, you must complete an EKU Consortium Agreement form and submit it to the EKU Financial Aid Office by the last day of the "drop/add" class registration period for that term.

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14. How will I be notified about my awards?

Answer:

Once your financial aid package has been determined, you will receive an award notification. New freshman and transfer students will receive this notice via the US postal service. Continuing students will receive this notice via their EKU email account. You should read all information regarding your award(s). If you don't understand any part of the offered award(s), contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for clarification. All students who are offered a Federal loan and/or Federal work study must log in to EKU Direct to accept/reduce/decline those awards. If at any time, after you have accepted/reduced/declined an award, you wish to have that award changed, you must contact the EKU Office of Student Financial Assistance.

NOTE: The financial aid package awarded to you at Eastern Kentucky University cannot be transferred to another school. Each school determines its own award package for you based on availability of funds and philosophy of packaging.

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15. Which programs are eligible for financial aid?

Answer:

Any Associates, Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral programs, are eligible for financial aid:  You can find a list of eligible Certificate programs here.

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16. What happens if I withdraw from my courses ?

Answer:

Withdrawing from your courses at any point after the drop/add period will negatively affect a student’s completion rate, or pace, and future financial aid. 

If you withdraw from all of your classes in any given semester you may be required to return a portion of your financial aid.  You can find more information about how funds are returned by clicking here

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17. What is my cost of attendance (COA)?

Answer:

Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of your costs to attend Eastern Kentucky University for an academic year. COA includes direct costs included in your bill-like tuition, mandatory fees, room and board and indirect costs like books, travel, laundry, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

The financial aid offered to the student can’t exceed the cost of attendance. If this occurs the students financial aid will be adjusted due to an overaward.

For more information on EKU’s Cost of Attendance click here.  

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18. What is an overaward?

Answer:

An overaward occurs any time the student receives more financial assistance than you are eligible for. This includes money from grants, loans, scholarships, work study, entitlements, waivers of tuition, or any type of financial help.

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19.  What is verification?

Answer:

Every year the U. S. Department of Education selects a percentage of financial aid applicants for a review of their financial aid information. This review is known as verification.

If your application is selected for verification, you will need to submit certain information regarding:

  • Adjusted Gross Income (a copy of student/parent tax return transcript will be requested)
  • Federal Income Tax Paid
  • Household Size
  • Number in College

Once selected for verification, you cannot receive any federal financial aid funds (including Federal Work Study and Direct Loans) until the verification process has been completed.

The Verification Process is now being completed by KHEAA.  Click here for more information.

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20. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Answer:

Federal regulations mandate that all students make satisfactory, measurable academic progress toward completion of a degree in order to receive federal assistance through Title IV federal grant, work, and loan programs.

  • EKU's SAP standards comply with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override EKU academic policies.
  • Academic progress will be reviewed annually at the end of the spring semester.
  • The academic progress of students on Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed after each payment period.
  • The academic progress of new financial aid applicants will be reviewed as EKU receives the results of your FAFSA.
  • It is your responsibility to stay informed of the University's SAP standards and policy.

The academic progress of all financial aid applicants and recipients will be reviewed for

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average
  • Cumulative Credit Hour Completion Rate/Pace, and
  • Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion.

You must maintain satisfactory progress in all three areas regardless of whether or not you have received financial aid in the past.

If you do not meet the above requirements and are denied aid you may appeal. You must fill out the below items to be considered for a SAP Appeal:

  • SAP Appeal Worksheet
  • Written letter stating why you failed to meet the academic performance requirements.
  • Supporting documentation of why you failed to meet the academic performance requirements.
  • Signed/written statement from your advisor of what required classes you still need.

If your SAP Appeal is approved you will be notified in writing. Once you receive this letter you must sign and send it back to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Your aid will not be disbursed until the signed letter has been received in the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

For more information about SAP click here.

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21. What types of loans are available?

Answer:

Applying for Student Loans and Loan Amounts

To apply you must first fill out the FAFSA. The amount of loan that you can borrow depends on your classification (freshman, sophomore, etc). Dependent freshmen can borrow up to $5,500.00, sophomores can borrow up to $6,500, and juniors/seniors can borrow up to $7,500 for the academic year. All students must complete entrance loan counseling prior to their first loan disbursement.  You must sign a Master Promissory Note (loan application) before your loan can be applied to your account. If you still need additional loans to pay for your education, an independent student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan and a dependent student's parent may apply for a parent PLUS loan.  First time borrowers (freshmen) cannot receive the first disbursement of their loans until 30 days after the school term begins.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan vs. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
For the need-based Subsidized Loan, the federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half time (six semester hours). However, for the non-need-based Unsubsidized Loan, interest does accrue while the student is enrolled and must be paid by the student upon graduation or ceasing enrollment of half time status. Both types of loans have an interest rate that is capped at 8.25%. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)  
The PLUS Loan allows a parent of a dependent student to borrow funds to meet the cost of attendance not met by other financial aid. The amount a parent is eligible for equals cost minus other aid. The repayment on these loans begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed. The interest rate is not to exceed 9%.
 

If the PLUS Loan is not Approved
If the parent applies for the Parent PLUS loan and is denied, the student may contact our office to request an additional Unsubsidized Loan. ($4,000 per academic year for freshmen/sophomores; $5,000 per academic year for juniors/seniors).

Federal Perkins Loan
A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for exceptionally needy students. Perkins Loans have an interest rate of 5%. Repayment begins nine months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours).  A promissory note must be completed at www.ecsi.net/promi7. Perkins is a limited fund loan program available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information about loans click here.

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22. What types of grants are available?

Answer:

Grants are awarded based almost exclusively on financial need and typically do not have to be repaid.  In order to apply for a Federal or State grant, students must complete the FAFSA application. Students may access the FAFSA application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  • Federal Pell Grant
    The Pell Grant is a need-based grant available to degree seeking undergraduate students.
    Full time enrollment (12 credit hours) is required to receive the full Pell Grant award. Students with a semester course load of 1-11 credit hours may be eligible for a prorated portion of their Pell Grant.
  • CAP (College Access Program) Grant
    The CAP Grant is a need-based state grant. Students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, complete the FAFSA and be a Kentucky resident in order to be considered.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
    The FSEOG is a need-based grant. Students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and complete the FAFSA in order to be considered. FSEOG is a limited fund program available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Complete the FAFSA early for priority consideration.

For additional information on grants click here.

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23. What types of scholarships are available?

Answer:

Scholarships offer assistance to students who excel in their academia. The EKU Scholarship Office offers:

  1. A variety of scholarship awards to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential for superior academic performance.
  2. A number of scholarships funded through private funds administered by the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation.
  3. Some discipline-specific scholarships that are awarded based on a selection process within the appropriate academic department.

For information about the types of scholarships EKU offers, additional scholarship, guidelines, and how to apply click here

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24. How will I receive KEES money?

Answer:

The KEES program provides scholarships to students who earn at least a 2.5 GPA each year they attend a certified Kentucky high school. The better they do in high school, the more they earn toward college. They may also earn awards for ACT/SAT scores and Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores. Home school and GED graduates may earn awards based on their ACT scores.

KEES money is received by the university mid-September for the fall and mid-February for the spring term. EKU will submit verification of your enrollment to KHEAA after the drop/add period of the term. Once funds are received the KEES money will be applied to your account. You may check your KEES award amount by clicking here

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25. Is financial aid available for Study Abroad?

Answer:

Students have several options for study abroad at EKU.  Courses offered as part of the study abroad programs vary widely, including language and culture, business, literature and the arts, science and social science, philosophy and religion, and many others.  Programs vary in length from several weeks to a semester or year-long exchange.

If you are interested in participating in study abroad, you must first meet with the Study Abroad Office.  Once you have an idea about what study abroad experience you want to participate in, you can schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Office.  In order for your meeting to be productive, you will need to have the dates of the trip and the approximate cost of the trip.  That will allow the financial aid officer to see if you have enough aid to cover the additional expenses to study abroad.  NOTE:  If you are interested in a summer study abroad program, the only financial aid you will have available is what you did not use during the fall and spring semesters.  If you were enrolled on a full time basis for both semesters, your summer aid eligibility will be limited to unused loan funds.

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26.   What is Student Employment?

Answer:

Student employment services offer part-time job opportunities for students both on campus and in community service projects. Students receive a paycheck every two weeks for hours worked. For more information go to http://hr.eku.edu/student-employment-services.

The Student Employment Services Program provides wages, in return for service, to assist you in achieving your goal of earning a college degree.

The work program at Eastern Kentucky University has three purposes:

  1. It provides employment for those eligible, enabling you to earn a portion of your expenses while pursuing a college education.
  2. It is a part of the educational process whereby you can acquire marketable skills.
  3. It provides academically related work experience, which may have vocational value in post-college years.

Steps to Apply

  • Go to EKU Jobs
  • Click on "Search Requisitions"
  • Click on "Position Type" in the bottom right corner, select "Student" and click the "Search" button in the bottom left corner
  • Find a job title that you might be interested in; click "View"
  • Read through the job ad; if you want to apply for this job click "Apply for this Requisition"
  • Click on "Fill Out a New Application"
  • Fill out Social Security number information
  • Create your own username and password
  • Fill out the application online. Any questions with an asterisk (*) are required; anything that doesn't have an asterisk (*) is optional.

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27. How do I make a payment?

Answer:

Student Accounting Services handles tuition and fees, bill payments, installment plans, refunds, and all other billing issues. To find out more information about how to pay your university bill, setting up installment plans, book vouchers, and more you can visit the accounting website at http://studentaccounting.eku.edu/.

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28. How will I receive a refund? 

Answer:

After your university bill is paid in full your refund will be processed based on the refund preference you selected when you activated your ID card. Visit http://colonelonecard.eku.edu/ for more information about refund preferences and how to activate your card. To find out more information about the refund schedule, and other important facts visit the Student Account Services website at http://studentaccounting.eku.edu/.

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29. What are a student's rights and responsibilities?

Answer:

You have the right to know:

  • the procedures and priority dates for applying for aid,
  • the types of aid available and the general eligibility requirements for each,
  • the costs of attending Eastern Kentucky University,
  • how financial need is determined including costs and resources considered in the determination,
  • the interest rate and repayment provisions of any loan you accept,
  • the rate of pay and job requirements for any job you accept,
  • the procedures for withdrawal/ceased attendance of class from the University and the effect it will have on your financial aid,
  • the effect that course reductions (dropped classes) will have on your financial aid,
  • where to go for advice regarding other financial alternatives,
  • federal funds can be used toward an approved Study Abroad program.

It is your responsibility to:

  • complete all application forms accurately and timely
  • read all materials sent to you by the Office of Student Financial Assistance
  • accept responsibility for the information on all documents you sign and retain copies of them
  • know and abide by rules governing the aid you receive
  • comply with the provisions of any promissory note you sign
  • inform us of any resources not reported in your original application for assistance
  • make sure EKU has your correct mailing address
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • register for the appropriate number of credit hours each semester, and take only courses which are required for your degree program.

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29. How do I contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance?

Answer:

Hours of operation:

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