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Financial Aid FAQ

What is financial aid?

Any kind of funding to help pay for college is considered 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 tab of the MyKU Student Center. 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?
For students who are officially registered and have cleared their bill, aid will be disbursed after the end of Drop/Add. 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 will request a IRS federal tax return transcript from the parent and student along with completion of the verification form. The Financial Aid Office compares information on the tax return transcripts 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 Types of Aid section.

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 whether 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 during the drop/add period (first week of classes). 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 (six-11.5 credits), the student's grant aid will be reduced. The Stafford and PLUS loans remain the same as long as the student has at least six credits. Due to reduced costs, and depending on the type of aid in the award package, other adjustments may need to be made to resolve possible overawards.

If dropping a class results in going from at least half-time (six credits or above) to less than half-time (less than six 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.

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), contact the Financial Aid Office about a possible reevaluation of aid eligibility.

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 in the Financial Aid Services office.