Financial Aid FAQ

Where do I go to apply for ESU institutional scholarships?

  • New undergraduate and transfer students should contact their Admissions counselor for scholarship information. 
  • Check with the department of the student's major for departmental scholarship opportunities.
  • Scholarship announcements will also be sent to the student's ESU gmail account through Hornet Announcements.

 How do I apply for other financial aid?

When do I need to apply for financial aid?

  • The FAFSA is available as early as the first day of October prior to the start of each academic award year. 
  • For Kansas aid programs, the FAFSA is required to be completed by April 1 and the deadline for the state application is May 1.

Do I have to re-apply for financial aid every year?

  • Yes, for federal financial aid, the FAFSA is required each year
  • For continued state program eligibility, a state renewal application is required.

Which parent’s information should be included on my FAFSA if my parents are divorced?

This answer is specific to dependent students only:  In the case of divorce or separation, give information about the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months.  If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give information about the parent who provided you the most financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year you received support.  If your divorced or widowed parent has remarried, also provide information about your stepparent.

What does it mean if my FAFSA has been selected for “verification”?

You are required to submit certain documentation so that the school may verify that specific answers you provided on your FAFSA are accurate. Students’ applications are selected at random by the central processor for this process.

I will be getting married soon.  How should I fill out my FAFSA?

It depends on the individual student.  It is recommended that the student complete the FAFSA as they normally would; then contact the office for a review after the marriage has taken place. The review will determine if updating the marriage status of the student would be advantageous for you.

I can only attend part-time.  Can I still get financial aid?

Yes, students attending less than full-time can receive federal financial aid.  For the Federal Direct Loan Programs (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS) students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking or approved certificate program at least half time which is defined as:

  Summer Fall/Spring
Undergraduates 5 6
Graduates 5 5
Second Bachelors 5 6
Teacher Licensure/Certification 5 6

For most institutional scholarships, State programs and Jones Foundation grants, students must be full-time.

I see a Cost of Attendance figure on my financial aid award offer.  What does this mean?

Please note that the Cost of Attendance figure on your award offer is much more than the actual amount that will be due directly to the university.  The Federal Government requires that Financial Aid Offices establish a cost of attendance (COA) in calculating your eligibility for need‐based aid programs. The cost of attendance is also referred to as a budget. Student budgets are differentiated by:

  • residency (Kansas resident & Corky Plus, NEARR resident [Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas] and non‐resident),
  • classification (undergraduate or graduate) and
  • enrollment (full‐time, three‐quarter‐time, half‐time, less than half‐time).

 The standard components of the budget consist of a combination of your:

  • direct costs = tuition and fees, and university room and board, and
  • indirect costs =books and supplies, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, and loan fees. Indirect costs are typically not payable to the university, vary greatly from student to student, and are dependent on other factors. For instance, while average loan fees are always included in your budget, this indirect costs’ impact on you is dependent on whether or not you decide to accept a loan.

If I decline a loan on my award offer, can I still receive those funds later?

  • Yes, for the Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS loans; as long as you are maintaining satisfactory academic progress; unless you received funds from a different source that replaced the loans previously declined.

How do I receive summer financial aid?

  1. Be admitted to the university and accepted to your program of study
  2. Have a valid FAFSA on file with ESU
  3. Enroll in summer hours (half time attendance required for federal student loans)
  4. Once you are awarded financial aid, be sure to accept your award offer in Buzzin.
  5. Complete any required Entrance Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note at

If I drop a class, will my financial aid be affected?

Your financial aid may be affected if you drop a class during the drop/add period.  Some funds require that you remain enrolled full-time in order to receive and keep those funds.  Other types of financial aid may be reduced if dropping a class will put you at a lower enrollment status than your current award offer reflects.

If I withdraw from a class, will my financial aid be affected?

Withdrawing from a class can affect your financial aid, but the affect may be different than if you were dropping the class.  When a student withdraws from a class, they are considered to have attempted the course, but not completed the course.  A certain number of hours must be completed in order to retain your financial aid eligibility.  For more information, please review our Satisfactory Academic Progress policy by clicking on the link to the right, "How Do I Remain Eligible?" 

Also, please feel free to contact our office to inquire about the consequences of dropping or withdrawing from a course.

How do I get my excess financial aid?

  • Accept your award(s) in BuzzIn
  • When utilizing student loans for the first time at ESU, be sure you have completed your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling both of which can be found at:
  • When utilizing a Parent loan, be sure parent has completed both the PLUS Master Promissory Note (required for first PLUS loan at ESU) and PLUS application (required each year.)  The latter collects the amount requested, the disposition of any excess funds and also performs a credit check to determine the parent borrower’s eligibility to receive the Parent PLUS loan.
  • Ensure you are familiar with ESU’s Tuition/Fee payment options which can be found at:
  • Complete the Direct Deposit Authorization form which allows for any excess financial aid, scholarships, and other credit balances to be electronically deposited into your bank account.  The form is available from your BuzzIn account.  Otherwise, any excess funds will be made available to you in the form of a paper check beginning several days after the start of the semester

Can I lose my eligibility for financial aid because of low GPA or too few credits?

We are required by the Department of Education to monitor academic progress to determine future eligibility for financial aid.  Federal regulations require you to maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A., as well as pass a minimum number of hours which are outlined in the online Satisfactory Academic Progress policy available by clicking on the link to the left, "How Do I Remain Eligible?"

May I repay my loans while in school?  If so, how?

Yes, you may repay your loans at any time while in school by contacting your loan servicer. The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, & Veterans Services can assist you in determining where payments may be sent.

What types of assistance can undocumented students receive at ESU?

Under current laws, undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid or aid from the state of Kansas. Undocumented students are eligible to apply for institutional scholarships and some non-institutional scholarships. Also, undocumented students may qualify for in-state tuition if they meet the conditions under Kansas HB 2145. If these conditions are meet, please contact the Registration Office at 620.341.5211 or for further assistance. 

Please look at the Q & A - Financial Aid & Undocumented Students from the U.S. Department of Education for further details.