Skip to main content

Financial Aid Application Process

Your step-by-step guide to applying for financial aid

Fill out the FAFSA to determine eligibility for grants, loans and work study

Step one: Apply for Admission

Find out how to fill out your application for admissions by visiting the Admissions page. Select undergraduate or graduate admissions.

Step Two: Fill out ESU Scholarship Application

Fill out the ESU Scholarship application.

Step Three: Apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you need assistance completing the FAFSA, the Department of Education has published a "Completing the FAFSA" guide in English and Spanish.

The following videos can also guide you through the FAFSA application process:

Creating an FSA ID

FAFSA Overview

FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency

How to Fill Out the FAFSA

After the FAFSA: What happens next?

Change in Financial Circumstances

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it is always based on the prior year's income information.  We understand that students and their families may have incurred some significant financial changes since then.  For financial aid purposes, if a change in your financial situation has occurred, we may need to re-evaluate the results of your FAFSA.  This process is called Professional Judgment, and it applies only to certain situations. 

To determine if you may be eligible for a Professional Judgment review, please complete the Professional Judgment Consideration located at on our forms page. Please complete the form and send it to the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, & Veterans Services.

Step four: Fill out the Kansas Board of Regents Scholarship Application

The application link is located on the Regents website.

Note: You must have completed the FAFSA (Step 3) by April 1. The deadline for this application is May 1.

Step five: Provide requested documentation

Our office may request additional documentation to complete your file. Please sign and return any requested documentation.

Step six: Determine Aid Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be accepted to a degree-seeking program to be aid eligible.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to be Direct Loan eligible:


  • Half-time for Undergraduates and Graduates begins at 5 hours
  • Half-time for Accelerated Online Graduates begins at 3 hours


  • Half-time for Undergraduates begins at 6 hours
  • Half-time for Graduates begins at 5 hours
  • Half-time for Accelerated Online Graduates begins at 3 hours

Step seven: Accept or Decline Awards via Hornet 365

If you are new to Emporia State, your first financial aid offer notification will be sent by email to the email address listed on the FAFSA and will be viewable on your Hornet 365 account. If you are returning to Emporia State, your first financial aid offer notification will be sent to your student email address. Subsequent revisions will be sent via your student email address. Your financial aid offer will give you details on how to access your offer via Hornet 365 so you can accept/reduce/decline your offer.

Step eight: Accepting a Federal Loan

If your financial aid offer includes any of the three types of federal loans listed below, disbursement of those funds cannot take place unless the requirements for that loan have been completed as follows:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized/Unsubsidized)

Funded by and repayable to U.S Department of Education

If the student has not received Direct Stafford loan funds previously, he/she must complete the following requirements via

  1. Direct Loan Master Promissory Note – note that a MPN is valid for 10 years, so if it’s expired a new one will need completed
  2. Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)

Funded by and repayable to U.S. Department of Education

The parent must complete the following requirements via

  1. Parent PLUS Loan Application – note that the application for the upcoming aid year is not available until after April 1st
  2. Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note – note that a MPN is valid for 10 years unless it was attached to an endorsed loan

Step nine: Scholarship or Grant Reporting

Federal law requires that students report any scholarship or grant awards from outside sources (church, high school, club, etc.) to the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, & Veterans Services. This can be done electronically through Hornet 365:

  1. Login to Hornet 365
  2. On the left menu, click Students
  3. Click on Financial Center
  4. Click on My Financial Aid Award
  5. Select the 2022-23 academic year
  6. Select the Resources and Additional Information tab

Step Ten: Attend Hornet Connection and Enrollment

New undergraduate students must attend an on-campus Hornet Connection.

Continuing students will need to enroll in their academic courses.

Please note that if you enroll at a lower enrollment level (i.e., full-time to half-time, etc.) than what your award offer states, your awards may be reduced. If this is the case, you will be sent a revised award offer each time via your student email account.

Step Eleven: Billing/Payment instructions

Review Business Affairs Procedures on Billing/Payment.

Any excess funds that become available will be deposited into the bank account authorized by the student except for excess Parent Loan funds. Students are encouraged to complete and submit to the cashier the Title IV form available at Hornet Connection or online. This authorizes the use of your federal financial aid to pay for your university charges.