Questions Related to Financial Aid
Application for Special Circumstances and Professional Judgment
Kutztown University recognizes that changes may be experienced in the financial situation of a household. While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines financial aid eligibility based on data from two years prior, the Professional Judgment process exists to re-evaluate a student’s aid based on certain significant changes.
What changes are NOT applicable?
- Job loss due to cause or personal choice
- Standard living expenses (i.e., utilities, car payments)
- Mortgage payments
- Personal debt
What changes might be applicable?
Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
**NOTE: A change to the EFC could result in a change of eligibility for need-based awards. However, it is NOT guaranteed. Possible changes include:
- Loss or change of employment (those due to cause or personal choice are not applicable)
- Employed in a lower-paying position
- Was working full time, but is only working part time now/experienced a change in income
- Separation/Divorce after FAFSA filing
- Untaxed income (disability, child support, alimony, unemployment, worker's compensation, Social Security, etc.) ceased
- Disability of wage earner
- Death of parent or spouse
- Excessive medical expenses (must exceed 11% of adjusted gross income)
- One-time taxable income (IRA distribution, pension distribution, etc.)
Change to Cost of Attendance (COA)
**NOTE: A change to the COA does not result in a change to need-based awards. It simply increases the total budget (known as the COA) which allows for an increase to PLUS and/or private loans only. Possible changes include:
- Costs associated with a student’s disability
- Childcare expenses for a dependent child of student
- One-time purchase of a computer for educational use
- One-time cost of professional licensure required for student’s major
Who is not eligible for a Professional Judgment?
- High school dual-enrolled students
- Graduate students (only eligible for Cost of Attendance adjustments in the form of loans)
- Students with a zero EFC, as a zero EFC student is already fully eligible for need-based aid
How to Apply for Professional Judgment:
If you meet one of the significant changes outlined in the Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or the Change to Cost of Attendance (COA) sections above, contact the financial aid office to schedule an appointment, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Circumstance for Dependency:
Based on the guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education, you are a dependent student if you are under the age of 24 and answered “No” to the dependency questions on the FAFSA. We do recognize that there are special circumstances in which students are not able to obtain parents’ information, or other situations.
Students that are unable to complete the FAFSA with parental information, or have a special circumstance, may request a Dependency Override by contacting the financial aid office to schedule an appointment, email@example.com.
- How do I accept or decline the aid on MyKU?
How do I get aid for off-campus housing?
A student will automatically be processed for all federal and state aid for which they are eligible. If additional funds are required to pay for off-campus housing, the student can apply for a private alternative loan, or the parent can apply for a Parent PLUS loan.
Please be aware that refunds may not be available to you until the fourth or fifth week of the semester. Local landlords are generally aware of this fact.
Also note that we cannot, by law, tell a landlord anything about your financial aid. If a landlord calls our office, we can only tell them in general terms when aid is scheduled to be disbursed. You may want to print a copy of your MyKU to show them that you are eligible for aid.
How do I get financial aid for summer?
Please see our Summer Aid section.
How do I keep financial aid eligibility?
Financial aid is contingent upon maintaining satisfactory financial aid progress, which is measured every semester. Students must successfully complete 2/3 of all credits for which they are registered. They must also maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Details are available here.
How much aid will I be eligible to receive?
The amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive is determined by the FAFSA.
How much should I apply for in an alternative loan? How much should my parent apply for in a PLUS loan?
Many borrowers will request an amount that will make up the difference between the cost of the total bill minus any other financial aid. Some may also borrow additional loan money to cover the cost of off campus housing, or the cost of books, for the semester. We suggest that students and parents take out loans for the entire academic year so that there is only one application process per year.
Please remember that a PLUS loan has an origination fee of approximately 4%. This means that if a parent takes out a PLUS loan for $1,000, only $960 will be applied to the student's bill.
I am a returning student what is the deadline for applying for the FAFSA application?
We suggest that you file your FAFSA form as soon as it is available in October. The deadline for in-state students to be considered for a PA State Grant is May 1.
I received my award letter and I still need more money. What can I do?
Please see our Types of Aid section.
Is there financial aid for winter classes?
There may be additional aid that can be processed for the fall term in order to pay for winter courses. Please fill out the winter aid form to determine your eligibility.
What can I do if my family income has changed from the tax year reported on the FAFSA?
If your family experiences a change in income due to unusual circumstances (i.e., loss of employment, separation or divorce, high non-reimbursed medical expenses), contact the Financial Aid Office about a possible reevaluation of aid eligibility.
What happens to my financial aid if I drop a course?
Classes dropped during the Drop/Add period may result in a reduction of financial aid for the semester. Classes dropped after Drop/Add may result in a loss of aid for future semesters. Prior to dropping a class, please contact the Financial Aid Office to see if doing so will affect your aid.
What is verification?
Some students are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called Verification. The KU Financial Aid Office is responsible for collecting tax and other documentation to make any necessary corrections to a student's FAFSA. See our Verification page for more information.
When will I find out how much aid I can expect to receive?
The Financial Aid Office processes aid and typically sends a one-time award letter to freshmen beginning in January. Any possible changes to your aid will be updated on your MyKU account; a new award letter will not be sent to you.
Returning students may access their financial aid online after spring grades are posted and aid is processed.
When will my financial aid be disbursed so that I will be able to get my refund?
Private loans and scholarships are disbursed after the Drop/Add period. Refunds are generated to students based on their refund preferences.
Federal and state aid are disbursed after your professors confirm your enrollment, approximately four weeks into the semester. Refunds are generated to students based on their refund preferences.
Where do I apply for KU scholarships?
Students are automatically considered for all KU scholarships by completing the FAFSA form by our priority deadline date of February 15. If additional information is needed from the student, the student will be contacted.