Financial Aid

Financial Aid

EKU is dedicated to helping you make your academic goals more affordable. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid.

Types of Financial Aid

Understanding Financial Aid

Applying For Financial Aid

More Information

Types of Financial Aid

Grants

Grants are a type of financial support that do not need to be repaid. Many grants are based on financial need alone, however, some grants also take academic performance, academic degree program and/or residence status into consideration.

To determine your eligibility for federal grants please complete your FAFSA as soon as possible.

Grants are available at the federal and state level.

Federal Loans

Federal student loans are loans made or guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal student loans include benefits not typically offered with private loans, such as fixed interest rates and income-driven repayment plans. In addition, federal loans will not have to be repaid until a student graduates, leaves school or changes enrollment status to less than half-time.

All federal loans are processed through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Lending Program. There are two federal educational loan options:

  • Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Direct PLUS and Graduate PLUS

Any student who has not borrowed with the U.S. Department of Education will need to complete Entrance Counseling and an electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) at www.studentloans.gov

In order to sign in and complete these requirements a student must create and use an FSA ID. The Financial Awareness Counseling listed under "Tools and Resources" on www.studentloans.gov cannot be substituted as the required direct loan entrance counseling.

All federal student loan borrowers will receive a confirmation email from the U.S. Department of Education once they have successfully completed the E-MPN. The requirements will be shown as complete on ASIST 48 hours after completing entrance counseling.

As of March 29, 2015, if a borrower has been approved for a direct parent PLUS or direct graduate PLUS loan by means of obtaining a qualified endorser or documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the borrower’s adverse credit, the borrower must complete the new direct PLUS loan counseling requirement at www.studentloans.gov.

Private Loans

Private student loans are not funded or subsidized by the federal government; instead, they are funded by banks, credit unions, or other types of lenders.

The bank or lender – not the federal government – sets interest rates, loan limits, terms, and conditions of private student loans. Your ability to qualify for and borrow a private student loan may be based on numerous factors that can include your credit history, whether or not you choose to have a co-signer, your co-signer’s credit history, your choice of school, and your course of study. These loans do not offer the flexible repayment terms or borrower protections featured by federal student loans.

While private student loans are all structured differently, in general they include:

  • Payment plans that can begin while you are still in school
  • Fewer options to reduce or postpone payments
  • Variable interest rates that can rise when interest rates rise during the life of the loan (potentially causing your payment to increase)

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Employer tuition reimbursement includes a variety of employer-sponsored programs to help employees pay for college. In many cases the funds received from these programs will be excluded from income and are tax-free.

Employee tuition reimbursement programs are typically governed by an employer’s human resources department. Employers may provide up to $5,250 per year in employer education assistance benefits for undergraduate or graduate courses.

Your employer may require you to attain a particular grade or to complete a program in order to obtain reimbursement. The employer may also require that you remain employed for a period of time after completing the course of study. Finally, your employer may require you to provide receipts or other substantiation of the educational expenses.

To learn if your employer offers a tuition assistance program, contact your human resources department.

Military Benefits

Outside Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded by an organization other than the government or university. They are available from a number of groups, organizations and entities nationwide. These scholarships can be general in nature or very specialized and tied to the type of work you would be doing after graduation.

If you receive an outside scholarship, you must notify your financial aid officer so the award can be properly reported as part of your total aid package. Failure to report awards can result in the award not being accepted or a portion of the funds having to be repaid due to overpayment.

Outside scholarship opportunities can be found from a number of reliable online sources, including but not limited to:

Please note: EKU has no control over the awarding or administration of outside scholarships.

Departmental Scholarships

Departmental scholarships are awarded by specific EKU departments. The types, size and criteria for these scholarships will vary by department.

If you receive a departmental scholarship, you must notify your financial aid officer so the award can be properly reported as part of your total aid package. Failure to report awards can result in the award not being accepted or a portion of the funds having to be repaid due to overpayment.

List of any known departmental scholarships our students should be applying for

 

Foundation Scholarships

EKU is fortunate to have hundreds of generous individuals and organizations that have donated scholarship money for current EKU students from a variety of backgrounds, situations and interests. These are referred to as EKU Foundation Scholarships. Due to the number of these scholarships and the varying criteria for them, EKU has developed a single Foundation Scholarship application. 

After completing the application, you will be considered for any foundation scholarship for which you are eligible.  Criteria for these scholarships varies and can include academics, major, interests, place of residence, and more. 

EKU Foundation Scholarship application for the 2016-17 academic year can be found below.

https://scholarships.eku.edu/sites/scholarships.eku.edu/files/2017-18_application.pdf

The application must be accompanied by TWO letters of recommendation and an essay on the topic of your choice in order to be considered complete. The two letters of recommendation need to be on official letterhead and signed. 

The deadline for complete applications is April 15.  In order to receive full consideration, your application, two letters of recommendation, and essay must be received by this date. 

The application, and additional documents may be mailed, faxed or brought into the EKU Scholarship Office.  You can also email the documents directly to EKU Online Financial Aid Advisor Becky King at becky.king@eku.edu.

Mailing address:

EKU Scholarship Office
521 Lancaster Ave
CPO Box 56, Whitlock, Room 129
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
Phone: (859) 622-8032
Fax (859) 622-8479

Understanding Financial Aid

Undergraduate Aid and Eligibility

The primary source of financial aid available to undergraduate students enrolled with EKU Online is a federal direct student loan.

A federal direct student loan may be subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan means that the federal government pays the interest while you are in school, during periods of payment deferment, and during the grace period. An unsubsidized loan means that you must either pay the interest quarterly, even while you are in school, or capitalize the interest. The interest on federal direct loans is variable with an 8.25% cap.

As an undergraduate student earning your first bachelor's degree, you may also be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The amount of your Pell Grant is determined by your calculated EFC (see section on Calculating Your Financial Aid Award). Any grant assistance you receive is considered “gift assistance” and does not have to be paid back.

Determining eligibility‚Äč

You must be an admitted, degree-seeking student, taking a minimum of 6 credit hours in order to receive financial aid. You cannot be in default on a previous federal student loan. Each financial situation is unique. The information you provide on your financial aid forms (e.g., FAFSA) will determine the amount of financial aid for which you are eligible.

View the undergraduate financial aid checklist

Graduate Aid and Eligibility

EKU Online graduate students may be eligible for federal direct unsubsidized loans and graduate PLUS loans.

An unsubsidized loan is a non-need based federal loan. The school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid/assistance that you receive. Students are responsible for paying the interest on a direct unsubsidized loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school, during grace periods, or during deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accumulate and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

A graduate direct PLUS loan is a non-need based Federal loan for students with good credit history. Approved applicants may borrow up to the annual “cost of attendance” less other financial aid/assistance received.

Determining eligibility

You must be an admitted, degree-seeking student, taking a minimum of 4.5 credit hours in order to receive financial aid. Also, you cannot be in default on a previous federal student loan. Each financial situation is unique. The information you provide on your financial aid forms (e.g., FAFSA) will determine the amount of loan assistance for which you are eligible.

View the graduate financial aid checklist

Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

Return to Title IV Policy

If you withdraw from a class or EKU for ANY reason, you may be subject to the return to title IV policy.  Eastern Kentucky University may be required to return funds on your behalf to the Department of Education.  This most likely will result in a bill from EKU.  This is a federal requirement and must be completed. 

If you had to withdraw because of an emergency, you may file an appeal with the Student Accounting Office to have all or a portion of your balance waived.  More information about that process can be found here: http://studentaccounting.eku.edu/financial-appeals

Applying For Financial Aid

How to Apply

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to include EKU's federal school code which is 001963.

The next step is to apply to the university if you have not yet done so.

Once you are fully admitted to the university and the Office of Student Financial Assistance receives your FAFSA information from the U. S. Department of Education, EKU will work to determine what financial aid package you are eligible for.

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 Division 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.

FAFSA

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the primary form that the federal government, states and colleges use to award grants, scholarships, work study and student loans.

You can find the application at fafsa.ed.gov

The following two FAFSA changes take effect this year:

  • The form for each year will become available three months earlier than it had previously, in October instead of January. You can access the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year on Oct. 1, 2016. This better aligns the financial aid and college application processes and gives students more time to apply for aid.
  • Families can use their prior-prior year tax information to complete the form instead of the prior year’s tax information. That means using 2015 tax information instead of 2016 tax information to complete the 2017-18 form. This allows families to file the FAFSA before they file their previous year’s taxes.

Undergraduate Financial Aid Checklist

Application Process

  • Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.  Please make sure EKU is listed as one of your schools.  EKU School Code: 001963
  • If this is your first time applying for financial aid, you will need to set up an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov
  • If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to create an FSA ID. 
  • It usually takes a week for us to receive the FAFSA once it is submitted. 

Once we receive your FAFSA

  • Be sure to monitor your EKU email to see if anything else is required to be submitted
  • Once we receive your FAFSA and any additional requirements, you will be emailed an award notification.  At this time, you can accept your awards on your EKU Direct account. 
  • If you plan on using federal student loans, you will also need to complete both the entrance counseling and sign the master promissory note at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Please note:  You must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to receive federal loans. 

The Beginning of the Semester

  • Your financial aid will pay out the first week of classes.
  • The Student Accounting Office will begin issuing refunds during the second week of classes.
  • If you want to use a book voucher to pay for your books, you may request one on your EKU Direct or by contacting the Student Accounting Office (mybill@eku.edu or 859-622-1232)
  • Please note:  You must have enough aid to cover your bill to apply for a book voucher.  If you are still in the KHEAA Verification process or still have outstanding documents you need to submit, you will not be able to get a book voucher.
  • Eastern Kentucky University will NOT drop a student from classes if their bill isn’t paid.  However, you will be charged up to a $25 late fee per month until your bill is paid. 
  • You may sign up for a payment plan through your EKU Direct account or by contacting the Student Accounting Office (mybill@eku.edu or 859-622-1232)

Graduate Financial Aid Checklist

Application Process

  • Please note:  Graduate students are not eligible for any grants.  Your aid will be loans only.
  • Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.  Please make sure EKU is listed as one of your schools. EKU School Code: 001963
  • If this is your first time applying for financial aid, you will need to set up an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov
  • If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to create an FSA ID. 
  • It usually takes a week for us to receive the FAFSA once it is submitted. 

Once we receive your FAFSA

  • Be sure to monitor your EKU email to see if anything else is required to be submitted
  • Once we receive your FAFSA and any additional requirements, you will be emailed an award notification.  At this time, you can accept your awards on your EKU Direct account. 
  • Your financial aid awards are based on 4.5 credit hours each semester.  If you are in more than that and would like additional funding, you can complete the Graduate Enrollment Form. 
  • If you plan on using federal student loans, you will also need to complete both the entrance counseling and sign the master promissory note at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Please note:  You must be enrolled in at least 4.5 credit hours to receive federal loans. 

The Beginning of the Semester

  • Your financial aid will pay out the first week of classes.
  • The Student Accounting Office will begin issuing refunds during the second week of classes.
  • If you want to use a book voucher to pay for your books, you may request one on your EKU Direct or by contacting the Student Accounting Office (mybill@eku.edu or 859-622-1232)
  • Please note:  You must have enough aid to cover your bill to apply for a book voucher.  If you still have outstanding documents you need to submit, you will not be able to get a book voucher.
  • Eastern Kentucky University will NOT drop a student from classes if their bill isn’t paid.  However, you will be charged up to a $25 late fee per month until your bill is paid. 
  • You may sign up for a payment plan through your EKU Direct account or by contacting the Student Accounting Office (mybill@eku.edu or 859-622-1232)

Forms

  • Graduate Enrollment Status Form
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form

More Information

KHEAA Verification

About one third of all FAFSA’s are selected for a process called “verification.”  Eastern Kentucky University has partnered with KHEAA (Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority) to complete the verification process on behalf of EKU. 

How does the student begin the verification process?

1.       Go to http://www.kheaa.com and click "Sign In"

2.       Sign in to MyKHEAA with the student's ID and password. (First-time MyKHEAA users must register first)

3.       Click on "KHEAA Verify"

4.       Complete the required verification forms

KHEAA Verify
P.O. Box 4902
Frankfort, KY 40602
FAX: 502-696-7230
Phone: 855-272-8771

Email: verification@kheaa.com

Please Note:  EKU cannot process any financial aid until this process is complete. 

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) and is a federal law designed to:

  • Protect the privacy of student education records
  • Establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records
  • Provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading information

Student Rights:

  • Inspect and review their education records
  • Seek to amend their education records when there has been a legitimate error recorded
  • Have some control over the release of information from their education records

Parental Rights:

  • When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a school beyond the high school level, FERPA rights are transferred to the student
  • Parents may obtain directory information at the discretion of the college
  • Parents may obtain non-directory information with a signed consent from their child

It is EKU policy NOT to release information to parents without written consent.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations mandate that all students must 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.

First time freshmen, new transfer students, new post-baccalaureate, and new graduate students are automatically considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress during the first academic year enrolled at EKU. The students will be subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the academic year. An academic year is defined as August to May.

1.       EKU's SAP standards comply with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education

2.       These are financial aid standards and do not replace or override EKU academic policies

3.       Academic progress will be reviewed annually at the end of the spring semester

4.       The academic progress of students on Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed after each payment period

5.       The academic progress of new financial aid applicants will be reviewed as EKU receives the results of your FAFSA

6.       It is your responsibility to stay informed of the University's SAP standards and policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as:

1.       Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for undergraduate or 3.0 for graduate students

2.       At least 67% of attempted credit hours must be successfully completed (transfer hours count toward this total)

3.       Degree must be completed within 150% of the published credit hours (transfer hours count toward this total) For example, a 120 credit-hour bachelor’s degree must be completed by the time 100 credit hours are accrued

Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

Without an Appeal

If you meet one of the following requirements, contact the Student Financial Aid Office to have your financial aid reinstated:

  • You were denied financial aid because you did not meet the minimum GPA standard, but have taken additional courses to bring your GPA up to the minimum
  • You were denied financial aid because you did not meet the 67% completion rate, but have taken additional courses to bring your pace back to 67% or better

Reinstatement with an Appeal

You may appeal to regain your eligibility for financial aid if you had extenuating circumstances which prevented you from making satisfactory academic progress. Extenuating circumstances are considered to be significant life experiences that impacted your emotional and/or physical health so much that you were unable to make good academic progress. 

You may not base your appeal on:

  • Your need for financial aid
  • Your lack of knowledge that your financial aid was in jeopardy

Appeals must include:

1.       The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (complete, legible and signed).

2.       A letter from the student explaining the circumstances which prevented satisfactory academic progress in the past and how/why those circumstances affected the student.

3.       An explanation from the student as to how the circumstances have been resolved so that you can make satisfactory academic progress in the future.  Include the steps/resources you plan to take to improve your academic record.

4.       Documentation to support/verify the circumstances cited in the letter.  For example, illness and/or injury can be documented with hospital or insurance records; a death can be documented with an obituary or funeral card; divorce can be documented with signed letter from a lawyer or a copy of the divorce decree, etc.  Letters must be signed and must contain contact information (the phone number, email address, etc. of the person who wrote and signed the letter).  Documentation cannot be from family members, significant others, roommates, etc.

5.       If student is appealing due to the maximum time frame (150%), the appeal must include a list of student’s remaining degree requirements signed by the student’s advisor or an Academic Specialist in the student’s college of study.