Frequently Asked Questions
What is financial aid?
Any kind of funding to help pay for college is considered to be financial aid.
Financial aid comes from four different sources – the federal government, the
state government, private sources and the University. Grants and scholarships
are considered gift aid; students are not required to repay the money received.
Loans, typically offered at low interest rates, are to be repaid by students
usually after completion of the degree. Employment opportunities, both on and
off-campus, are offered to students to help meet educational costs.
How can I get the FAFSA?
Please see our
Applying for Financial Aid section.
I don’t want to miss the FAFSA filing deadline for KU, but
my parents don’t file their federal tax return until April 15. What should I do?
You may use estimated tax information on the FAFSA based on your and your parents’ W-2s. When
your parents have completed their tax returns, you can correct the information on your FAFSA. It is recommended that you have your tax returns prepared early so the information
you report is accurate and to avoid having to correct the data later.
When will I find out how much aid I can expect to receive?
The Financial Aid Office processes the aid and sends a one-time paper
award letter to freshmen beginning in March. Subsequent changes can be accessed
online at the Financial Aid Self Service portal. Returning students may access their financial
aid online after Spring grades are posted. The award notice lists the type of aid and the amount
of each type of aid you can expect to receive for the fall and spring semesters.
How much aid will I be eligible to receive?
The amount of financial aid a student is qualified to receive is determined by
the results of the FAFSA. The FAFSA asks about your family size, the number of family
members in college and the student’s and parents’ income and assets. The calculation tells
the Financial Aid Office how much aid you are eligible to receive. Grants and scholarships are
applied to your aid package, if you are eligible for any, and then the student loan is processed.
When will my
financial aid be disbursed so that I will be able to get my refund?
students who are officially registered and have cleared their bill, aid
will be disbursed at the end of the first week of classes. Eligibility
for aid is rechecked at the end of the Drop/Add period in order to
generate any refunds the second week of classes.
I was selected for verification. What does that mean?
Verification is a process the Department of Education uses to make sure that the
information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Some applications are selected because
of inconsistent information and others are chosen at random. For files that are selected,
the Financial Aid Office requests copies of the student’s and parents' federal tax returns
along with completion of the verification form. The Financial Aid Office compares information
on the tax returns to the FAFSA and corrects errors. The family is notified of corrections made and the
effect any changes have on the student’s aid eligibility.
I received my award letter and I still need more money. What can I do?
Please see our Other Options to Pay for College
Why do I have to put my parents’ tax information on the FAFSA if they are not paying for school?
The federal government expects both parents and the student to
contribute to the student’s educational costs. Regardless of if a
parent will or will not contribute to your education, their income and
assets must be reported and are used to determine your eligibility for financial
aid. If you live with a parent and stepparent, both the parent’s and stepparent’s income
information will be used to determine your aid eligibility. Whether or not your parents claim
you on a federal tax return, you will still need to use their income information on the FAFSA.
What happens to my financial aid if I drop a course?
Aid may be adjusted if a change in enrollment occurs Drop/Add period (first week
If a class is dropped and the student is still full-time with at least 12 credits,
no adjustment is made to financial aid for that semester. If dropping a class results
in going from full-time to at least half-time (6-11.5 credits),
the student’s grant aid will be reduced. The Stafford and PLUS loans remain the same as long
as the student is at least 6 credits. However, if the award package also includes a Perkins loan,
the Stafford loan may be reduced to eliminate an over award due to reduced costs.
If dropping a class results in going from at least half-time (6 credits or above)
to less than half-time (less than 6 credits), the student is strongly advised to seek
specific guidance from the Financial Aid staff. The potential exists for aid to be
cancelled depending on the particular situation and the policies in effect which regulate administration of aid.
How does dropping or failing a course affect future financial aid eligibility?
Withdrawing from a class after Drop/Add may mean that a student will be short
the number of credits needed for satisfactory financial aid progress. Progress is
measured based on a student’s enrollment at the end of Drop/Add.
What kind of financial aid can I get for summer classes?
Please see our
Summer Financial Aid section.
One of my parents lost their job and my family is in a financial bind. Can the Financial Aid
Office help me?
If your family experiences a change in income due to unusual
circumstances (e.g. loss of employment, separation or divorce,
high non-reimbursed medical expenses, etc.), contact the
Financial Aid Office about a possible reevaluation of aid eligibility.