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Ability to Benefit from Financial Aid


Federal regulations require that students have an ‘Ability-To-Benefit’ from post-secondary education before they can receive federal financial aid, which typically refers to earning a high school diploma or equivalent, being enrolled in a degree seeking program, and not concurrently enrolled in elementary or secondary school.

Applies to: 

KU Students

Medical Center, Kansas City
Policy Statement: 

The Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1- Student Eligibility, states:

"A person must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program in order to receive Federal Student Aid funds. A regular student is someone who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by the school."

This handbook provides the following 'Basic Student Eligibility Issues’:

  • must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program
  • cannot also be enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • must make satisfactory progress
  • must meet enrollment status requirements

The regulatory citation for these basic student eligibility issues is the Code of Federal Regulations, CFR 668.32.

At the University of Kansas, a student must be admitted as degree-seeking, self-certify on the FAFSA that s/he has a high school diploma, GED or was home-schooled, and submit all required documentation to the KU Office of Admissions.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

If a student is admitted to KU and we learn that the student didn't actually complete High School, this becomes conflicting information and therefore the student would lose Financial Aid eligibility until s/he documents eligibility based on federal regulations.


The student will lose federal aid eligibility until the student can provide documentation to satisfy this eligibility requirement. If the student does not submit required documentation and aid has disbursed, student must repay aid. 


Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
1502 Building
1502 Iowa Street
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships
Approved on: 
Thursday, November 1, 2001
Effective on: 
Thursday, November 1, 2001
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Student Eligibility, Ability to Benefit
Change History: 
03/06/2023: Updated contact section.
12/12/2022: Removed resolution of any drug conviction issues from handbook info.
11/09/2021: Reviewed policy; no updates.
12/09/2020: Reviewed policy and Added Medical Center.
04/16/2018: Updated contact and approval information.
11/09/2016: Policy formatting cleanup, changed review date & consequences.
12/18/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
10/08/2014: Fixed broken link to Office of Admissions site (under Related Other).
08/13/2014: Reviewed and updated.
07/21/2013: Reviewed and updated.
08/07/2012: Reviewed and updated.
08/18/2011: Reviewed and updated.
10/2010: Reviewed and updated.
06/2009: Reviewed and updated.
Financial Categories: 
Student Financial Aid
Student Life Categories: 
Financial Assistance

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