Understanding Your Award Letter
#1 Estimated Direct Cost
The estimated direct costs are those costs paid directly to the University and billed through your KSU student account in the Bursar’s Office. Your direct costs will vary depending on things such as whether you are full or part-time, if you live in University housing or KSU Foundation housing, if you live off campus, or if you have coursework that includes a lab fee, etc.
#2 Estimated Family Contribution
The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), is the amount calculated based on the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and takes into account items such as income, assets, the number of persons in the household, the number attending college for the award year, etc. The EFC amount is not an actual amount that you (or your parents) have to pay, but it is an approximation of how much your family should reasonably be able to contribute towards your educational expenses during the academic year based on a Federal calculation.
#3 Grants and Scholarships
Grants and Scholarships are awards that do not have to be repaid or earned through work.
#4 Estimated Indirect Cost of Attendance
Estimated Indirect Cost of Attendance includes other expenses to attend KSU for one year, not just expenses paid directly to KSU. This includes estimated cost related to books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses, etc. These expenses are typically not paid directly to the University.
#5 Federal Work-Study
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is part-time employment funded by the US Department of Education and is extremely limited in availability. If you have been deemed eligible and have been awarded, you will note an amount listed in this section. For additional information, please visit this link.
#6 Offered Loan Programs
Loans are always optional and offered to you to assist in meeting your costs. If you wish to borrow a loan, you must accept it and complete a Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling. Information is noted on the Award Letter under “Accepting Full/Partial Loan Amounts or Declining Your Loan.”
The Kennesaw State University Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) seeks to provide award information to students as quickly as possible. Because of the need to have information from the US Department of Education, we typically begin sending award notifications in early spring term for the upcoming fall term (i.e., January – February). Admitted applicants are notified on a rolling basis as the OSFA receives financial aid applications. Kennesaw State University reserves the right to modify financial aid awards at any time due to changes in program terms (i.e., if the federal rules change that are specific to a fund type, i.e., Pell Grant), changes in a student’s program of study, changes required and related to federal and state rules and regulatory compliance, changes in other resources the student may have received, or changes on a student’s financial aid application, which could affect the amount of available funding based on student eligibility regulations.
How to Accept, Decline, or Reduce Financial Aid
Deadlines and Payment Information
New and Prospective Undergraduates
Rights and Responsibilities of Accepting Financial Aid
After you receive your award notice and have become familiar with your financial aid awards and “Terms and Conditions,” what should you do next? If you are awarded “Gift Aid” (any grant or scholarship money – which does not need to be repaid, i.e., HOPE, Pell, etc.), these funds do not require acceptance on your part. If you have been awarded student loans, you will need to accept, decline or reduce the amount of loan you wish to receive or not receive.
- Go to your Owl Express Account
- Click on the Financial Aid tab
- Click on the appropriate award year, (i.e., Fall 2018, Spring 2019 and Summer 2019 are part of 2018-2019 award year)
- If you have not reviewed your “Terms and Conditions,” you will need to read this first and then submit that you understand the information provided.
- Once “Terms and Conditions” has been completed, you may then accept, decline or reduce
your loans that have been awarded.
- Click on “Awards Offer“
- You will see your loans (if applicable)
- If awarded Subsidized Stafford or Unsubsidized Stafford – you will see the amounts and “Select Decision” drop box
- Note Select Decision drop box
- You can select “Accept” (which will accept the amount awarded)
- You can select “Decline” (which will decline the entire loan)
- If you wish to accept a partial amount, you will see under each loan (if applicable)
– Accept Partial box. You may enter the amount in this box if you wish to accept only
a part of the loan awarded.
- IMPORTANT – if you accept a partial amount, remember, the amount accepted will split into two equal amounts – one for Fall and another for Spring.
- Then click Submit
All new undergraduates who have accepted all or a partial amount of student loans must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Loan Counseling. Both of these should be completed by visiting www.studentloans.gov. All new transfers to KSU must also complete the Entrance Loan Counseling. The MPN will remain active for 10 years from the day of completion if a student continually receives students loans and there is no break of 12 months or more.
Kennesaw State University if part of the University System of Georgia (USG). Payment procedures are determined by USG policy and deadlines are very specific and restrictive. It is important to remember, the Financial Aid Office awards financial aid while the Bursar’s Office charges, collects and refunds.
This is how financial aid assists with charges in the Bursar’s Office:
- Once your awards are posted and accepted (i.e., loans) and all documentation is provided (note Additional Steps), aid will authorize to be released at the appropriate time.
- When you register for classes for an upcoming term, charges are posted and viewable
- For each term, the authorization of aid will occur approximately one month before payment is required by the Bursar’s Office.
- Payment deadlines in the Bursar’s Office are available each term. If payment (Charges - financial aid = the balance due) is not receive by the prescribed date, the Bursar will remove registration.
- Payment Options in the Bursar’s Office
- Nelnet Payment Plan information
- Drop/Add period for coursework can be noted on the Registrar If coursework is removed by the Bursar because of non-payment, a student may re-register for available classes during this period.
- Following Drop/Add, financial aid releases automatically to the Bursar’s Office. No action is required of the student to secure this release.
- Once financial aid is released and credited to the student’s account in the Bursar’s Office, all unpaid balances must be paid promptly. If remaining balances are not paid, the student’s registration will be removed and there will not be an additional opportunity to reinstate coursework.
- If a student has a credit balance (more financial aid than charges), the Bursar will begin processing refunds typically within 3 business days.
It is important to remember the following regarding the disbursement of financial aid:
- Financial Aid is always awarded based on full-time status (12 hours or more for any term). Aid will prorate according to enrollment for certain funds, i.e., HOPE, Pell Grant.
- To be eligible to receive a disbursement of a student loan for any term the student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours or more) after drop/add ends.
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) begins sending award letters to entering applicants (first-year and transfer students) in early spring term. Admitted applicants are notified on a rolling basis as the OSFA receives their financial aid application. We encourage you to apply early (the FAFSA opens for completion each Oct. 1st for the upcoming Fall term, i.e., Oct. 1, 2018 for Fall 2019) and respond to requests for additional documentation in order to ensure that your aid is ready to disburse prior to the payment deadline (as prescribed by the Bursar’s Office).
Entering applicants are sent an electronic award notification. These notifications will be sent via the student’s KSU email account (all communication will be sent to a student’s KSU email account). Here are some basic steps:
- Click here to look up your KSU# and KSU NETID. Then activate your NETID. Remember your KSU# - as you will use this often.
- Once activated, you may access your KSU Email account. All notifications will be sent via the student’s KSU Email account.
- Sign into Owl Express using your NETID and password
- Click on Financial Aid tab.
If you need assistance with this setup, you may contact UITS for KSU.
IMPORTANT – If documentation is requested (most often by the US Dept. of ED) to complete your awarding process, you must validate your account by:
- Log onto your Owl Express account
- Click on the Financial Aid tab
- Click on the appropriate award year - then “View Requirements and Submit Documents”
- Confirm the information you used to fill out your FAFSA to log into the portal
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Name (your name as it appears on your Social Security Card)
- Once you are logged into the portal, you will see what documents you are required to submit
- All documentation must be uploaded to this secure site. No hardcopy forms are accepted via email or in-person.
All documentation must be received no later than two months prior to the beginning of classes for each term to be considered for all aid programs. If you do not submit the requested documents, we will not be able to process your financial aid application and financial aid will not be disbursed to your KSU Student Account in the Bursar’s Office to assist with educational expenses.
The OSFA begins notifying current students in early spring term as applications are received. If additional documentation is requested, you can find it on your Owl Express account. Once all documentation is received, you will be awarded and notified via your KSU email account.
All documentation must be received no later than June 1 (for fall term) in order to consider you for all aid programs. If you do not submit the requested documents, we will not be able to process your financial aid application and financial aid will not be disbursed to your KSU Student Account in the Bursar’s Office to assist with educational expenses.
Accepting financial aid entails certain rights and responsibilities. When you are awarded financial aid, it is critical that you read and understand the “Terms and Conditions” list in your Owl Express Account for each academic year. We strongly encourage you to learn as much as you can about the aid you are accepting and to know in advance what is expected of you in terms of your enrollment and academic progress.