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Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for Financial Aid

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. Visit Big E Central: Apply for Financial Aid for details.

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 on October 1st every year.

Which programs are eligible for financial aid?

Any Associates, Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral programs, are eligible for financial aid.

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 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.

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.

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

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

What is considered an Independent Student for Federal Aid purposes?

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

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

Funding Options

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.

How do I apply for student employment/work study?

To apply for federal or institutional work-study positions, visit the Human Resources website. 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.

How do I access my 529 account funds?

Parents and/or students inquiring about use of their 529 account funds need to contact the agency managing their specific 529 plan for assistance. Most 529 account funds are released directly to the account owner and then it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the university bill is paid in full.

Is financial aid available for study abroad?

If you are interested in participating in study abroad, you must first meet with the Study Abroad Office. Once you have an idea about what study abroad experience you want to participate in, you can contact Big E Central to discuss your financial aid options.  In order for your meeting to be productive, you will need to have the dates of the trip and the approximate cost of the trip.

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 at EKU by the last day of the “drop / add” class registration period for that term.

Managing Your Financial Aid

How do I complete Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling and sign my Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

Visit Big E Central: Steps to Accept for details on how to complete Federal Loan requirements.

What is an over award?

An over award is financial aid that exceeds a student’s financial need and/or cost of attendance. When a student receives aid, EKU is required to adhere to all associated regulations. All aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, tuition remission, awards, and prizes must be counted as estimated financial assistance in a student’s total aid package. When the Financial Aid Office identifies an over award, adjustments must be made to the student’s financial aid package to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. When allowable, self-help aid, such as loans and work-study awards, are adjusted before grant or scholarship aid is affected. If an over award occurs after aid has been disbursed, the student may be required to repay all or a portion of their financial aid to the University.

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. Visit Big E Central: Satisfactory Academic Progress for details.

If you withdraw from all of your classes in any given semester you may be required to return a portion of your financial aid. Visit Big E Central: Return of Title IV Funds for details

How can I Adjust 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(s)), 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 the EKUs Financial Aid Office that we begin to use Professional Judgement (P)J 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 EKUs Financial Aid Office 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:

1. You must complete an Adjustment Request form (available upon request)
2. Once the form is returned to Big E Central, it will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office.  Any discrepancies will have to be resolved before the final adjustment to the EFC can be made.
3. Once the adjustment is completed, corrections to your FAFSA will be made electronically by the Financial Aid Office and sent to the Federal Processor.
4. 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 be notified if there is no change to your EFC or financial aid awards.

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:
  4. “Refugee”
  5. “Asylum Granted”
  6. “Parolee” (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired)
  7. “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”

You are not 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)

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)

Viewing Your Bill

Will I receive a billing statement about my semester charges?

Yes – a billing notification is sent once a month on all accounts with an outstanding balance. For students that are enrolled in that semester, the billing notification is sent via email to their EKU email address. Please make sure that you check your email regularly and that it has enough free space to receive our email reminder. If you are unsure if you have missed an email or a payment, you can go to your myEKU and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can selectBilling Statement. In doing so, you will arrive at the same location as if you had clicked on the link in our original email.

If a student does not receive a billing notification, he or she is still responsible for the charges.

For non-students and students not enrolled for that particular semester, billing notifications are sent to the address on file with the Office of the Registrar. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the Registrar’s Office with an accurate address and telephone number. This may be done at Big E Central, Whitlock Building, Room 210. Visit Registrar: Student Records for details.

Can I see my bill/balance online? 

Yes – you can go to your myEKU and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can selectAccount Summary. In doing so, you will arrive at the same location as if you had clicked on the link in our original email. You will then see a breakdown of the student’s charges and payments for all semesters of activity along with the Account Balance Due. It is possible for payments for one term to be reflected on another term’s activity if they were made before or after that term.  This does not indicate an error.  Also, the payment is correctly reflected in the total amount due.

How does the university determine the tuition rate that appears on my bill?

Full-time students (undergraduates taking at least 12 hours or more) will pay the full-time rate listed in the schedule of fees. Part-time students (undergraduates taking fewer than 12 hours), graduate, and e-campus students will pay the per credit hour rate times the number of hours scheduled. Additionally, residency is determined by either the Admissions Office for Undergraduates and the Graduate School for Graduate Students. Your residency classification was provided to you in your admission letter if you are unsure of how you are classified.  Additionally, there are certain online programs that have tuition rates that differ from the standard rates. A complete schedule of tuition fees can be found on the tuition and fee link.

If you have questions about your residency classification, please contact

Making Payments

How can I make a payment?

To make a payment by credit card, debit card, or checking account online you can go to your myEKU and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can select Pay My Bill. Once redirected to Transact select Make a Payment and complete the steps. Failure to make payments by the monthly due dates may result in late fees of 10% of the total or a maximum of $25.00 per month.

Payments also can be made by mailing a paper check or money order. The Student ID Number must be included for proper processing.

Check and Money Order (Non-Scholarship) payments may be mailed to the following address:

Eastern Kentucky University
P.O. Box 639244
Cincinnati, OH 45263-9244

Scholarship Checks can be mailed to the following address:

Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave.
Whitlock Bldg CPO 60
Richmond, KY 40475

Or pay online using this link: Online Scholarship Payments (for Grantors)

Can my parent or someone else make payments for me?

Yes – to give a parent or someone else access to make payments to your account you will need to set them up as an authorized payer. To complete this you will need to log in to your myEKU account and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payments section. From there you will select Pay My Bill and scroll down to the “Do you want help paying?” icon and click “Send a payer invitation.” Complete the Payer Information instructions and an email providing a link will be sent to the authorized payer allowing them to make payments.

Is there a fee to pay with a debit card or credit card?

Yes – there is a convenience fee of 2.75% of the transaction total. EKU accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

What happens if I fail to make payment arrangements?

For students who have chosen not to make payment in full or are not current on their Installment Payment Plan (IPP), monthly late charges will be assessed of 10% of the total or a maximum of $25.00 per month. Also, all balances must be paid below the maximum amount allowed to carry in order to register for classes. This applies to registering for the next semester or to adding more courses for the same semester for which you are delinquent. Once a student is no longer enrolled, if payment is not made in full by the beginning of the next term, the account may be subject to collection fees and turned over to a collection agency.

How do I sign up for a payment plan?


Installment Payment Plans (IPP) are available to students at the beginning of each semester.To enroll, you cannot have a past due balance from a previous semester. The first payment must be made at the time of enrollment. To sign up for an IPP log into your myEKU and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can select Pay My Bill. Once redirected to Transact select Payment Plans. Click View payment plan options and complete the steps. Please visit Student Accounting: Installment Payment Plans for details.

Can I set up autopay?


Currently autopay for EKU Installment Payment Plans is not available. You can schedule your payment each month by logging into your myEKU and navigating to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can select Pay My Bill. Once redirected to Transact select Make a Payment. Under this tab, you will enter the amount you need to pay and click Checkout. You will then be given the option to select ‘Schedule this Payment’ for a future date.

This process would need to be done each month of your payment plan. Otherwise you will need to log into your myEKU each month on or before the due date to submit payment at that time without scheduling for a future payment date.

Can I specify how payments are applied to the charges on my account?


No – payments should be applied to the unpaid charges with the oldest due date first. You cannot specify that you don’t want to pay certain charges. If you don’t feel that a charge is valid, your only recourse to avoid paying this charge would be to appeal the charge (and have your appeal granted) with the office who assessed it. The only exception would be if multiple charges are due the same date. Then, you can ask that we apply the charge differently by contacting us prior to the due date. If you contact us after the due date, late fees could still apply.

Refund Options

What happens if I pay more than my balance?

If you have made a payment that is more than what you owe, a refund may be issued for the overpayment. If you are making a payment for charges that are not yet reflected on your account, you should contact us to inform us of your intention. Normally, a refund will be issued within 21 days of your overpayment, unless we have some indication that you might be paying for unassessed or future charges. Additionally, if you have new charges reflected on your account within that 21-day time frame, the overpayment will be applied against those new charges, and you may no longer be eligible for a refund.

After my financial aid is applied, how long until I receive a refund?

If you have a negative balance after your financial aid is applied to your university bill, a refund will be generated for you. Title IV regulations state that in most cases refunds should be processed for students within 14 days of being applied to the student’s university account. The exceptions to that are when financial aid is applied prior to the start of classes for that term. In those instances, it is 14 days after the first day of class.

How will I receive a refund?

After your university bill is paid in full your refund will be processed. The quickest way to receive your refund is to log into your myEKU and navigate to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can select Account Summary. Once redirected to Transact select My Account in the top right. Click Sign up under Direct deposit refunds and complete the steps. Failure to sign up for an eRefund can result in delays for processing refunds.

Note: Your checking account number is not the same as your debit card number.

If I change my class schedule and decrease my hours, will I receive a refund?

You could receive a refund of tuition and/or certain course fee(s) if you (1) drop below full-time, (2) is part-time and drops a class, or (3) is full-time and drops a class with a refundable course fee. Please see the full refund schedule.

Can I still have a balance due once I have received a refund check?

Yes – if you are receiving Title IV Financial Aid Funds (Federal Loans or Grants) and you have NOT signed a Title IV Authorization Form, it is possible to receive a refund and still owe money to EKU.

Without this signed form, your Title IV Financial Aid Funds will only cover institutional charges. A list of some non-institutional charges is as follows: book charges, parking permit fee, parking tickets, late fees and the IPP service fee.  This form can now be signed electronically by logging into your myEKU and navigating to the Big E Central cards Billing & Payment section. There you can selectTitle IV Authorization to complete the form or confirm it has been submitted.

If I decide not to return to the university, can I assume that the university will cancel my classes and remove related charges from my account?

To assure that your registration has been cancelled and that you are officially withdrawn from the university, you must drop all of your classes via your myEKU. If you withdraw after classes have begun, you could be charged for a portion of the tuition for that semester.  Please see the refund schedule if you are unsure of the deadlines.