Frequently Asked Questions

Eastern Kentucky University Financial Aid FAQs

Do I need to complete the FAFSA every year?

Yes, you must complete a FAFSA each academic year. You should apply as soon as possible after October 1st every year.

Should I apply for aid if I probably won’t qualify?

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

My parents are divorced, so which parent’s income do I include on the FAFSA?

If your natural parents are separated or divorced, use the natural parent whom you lived with 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.

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.

How do I become an Independent Student for federal aid purposes?

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

  1. You are, or will be, 24 years old by December 31st of the current award year.
  2. You are a veteran of the US Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty.
  3. You are married.
  4. You 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.
  5. You are, or were, an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
  6. You are, or were, in permanent custody or legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
  7. You 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.
  8. You have a child or legal dependent for whom you provide more than half of their physical and financial support.
  9. You are enrolled in a graduate or professional program.

How much financial aid will I receive?

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.

How many credit hours are required to receive aid?

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.

How will I be notified about my awards?

Once your financial aid package has been determined, you will receive an award notification. New freshman and transfer students will receive this notice via mail. 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 Big E Central for clarification. All students who are offered a Federal loan and/or Federal work study must log in to myEKU 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 Big E Central.

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.

What happens if I withdraw?

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.

Return of Title IV Funds

If you withdraw from all of your classes in any given semester you may be required to return a portion of your financial aid.

How will I receive my KEES money?

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.

What is the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman?

If a problem or dispute regarding your federal education loan(s) arises that cannot be resolved through reasonable efforts, you may contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Ombudsman office can propose solutions that may help you and other parties come to a final agreement. Before you call, make sure you have good records of people you’ve talked to and what they’ve said.

U.S. Department of Education

FSA Ombudsman Group

P.O. Box 1843

Monticello, KY 42633

877-557-2575 (toll-free)

606-396-4821 (fax)

Can I use my financial aid for summer/winter classes?

The availability of summer/winter aid is dependent upon how much aid a student used during the school year and the student’s grade level. Contact Big E Central 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.

Can I receive financial aid at two schools?

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 Big E Central by the last day of the “drop/add” class registration period for that term.

Which programs are eligible for financial aid?

All associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs are eligible for financial aid.

Is financial aid available for study abroad?

If you are interested in participating in study abroad, you must first meet with the EKU Study Abroad Office. Once you have an idea about what study abroad experience you want to participate in, you can schedule an appointment with Big E Central. In order for your meeting to be productive, you will need to have the dates 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.

How do I apply for student employment/work study?

To apply for federal or institutional work-study positions, visit EKU Human Resources and select ‘Student and GA’. Then select ‘Student’ under position category heading, and choose ‘search’. Browse the available jobs. Select ‘view details’ for more information about the job. To apply, click the ‘apply for this job’ button when you find something interesting. You will then be prompted to create a profile. Please answer all questions truthfully. The more jobs you apply for, the better your chances are. You must complete these steps to be considered for a FWS position. Any specific questions about the job should be sent to the listed contact person on the job posting. You will be contacted if you are selected for an interview.

Student Accounting Services

How can I make a payment?

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 Student Accounting Services website.

How will I receive a refund?

After your university bill is paid in full, your refund will be processed. To find out more information about the refund schedule and other important facts, visit the Student Accounting Services website.

How do I give permission to release my records?

Due to Federal privacy laws, the student must give written consent in order for the Big E Central 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:

What is an overaward?

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

How can I adjust my Expected Family Contribution?

The following are conditions/reasons for which a student may request an adjustment to their EFC: loss of wages (student, spouse or parent), separation or divorce of parent or student after application, death of parent or spouse after application, loss of one-time income.

It is the policy of Big E Central that we begin to use Professional Judgement (PJ) to make adjustments to the EFC on February 1st for the upcoming award year. Accuracy in your income projection(s) is very important. It is the policy of Big E Central to not process future adjustments for any student who underestimates his/her household income by more than 15% for an adjustment calculation. For adjustments to income processed after January 1 of the award year, students and parents will be asked to provide current tax forms or W-2s. Once again, this is to provide the Department of Education with the most current, up-to-date information possible.

Procedure to follow:

  • You must complete an Adjustment Request form.
  • Personnel in Big E Central will review all requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • Once the form is returned to Big E Central, it will be reviewed by the financial aid counselor. Any discrepancies will have to be resolved before the final adjustment to the EFC can be made.
  • Once the adjustment is completed, corrections to your FAFSA will be made electronically by Big E Central and sent to the Federal Processor. Once the correction is made by the U. S. Department of Education, Big E Central will notify you in writing of the change in your expected family contribution and new award amount(s).

You will also be notified if there is no change to your EFC or financial aid award(s).

What is an Eligible Noncitizen?

Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are:

  1. A U.S. permanent resident with Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
  2. A conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  3. The holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations:
    • “Refugee”
    • “Asylum Granted”
    • “Parolee” (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired)
    • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”

You arenot an eligible noncitizen if you are in the U.S. on a:

  • F1 or F2 student visa
  • J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
  • G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)



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