Kentucky State University students earned a home-style Valentine’s Day lunch by learning the steps of the financial aid process at the University.

“Now this step tells you what happens after you complete your FAFSA application,” Russelle Keese, director of financial aid at Kentucky State, said as she dished out roast beef, green beans, bread and other fixings at each informational stop. “What does that say? That’s right. Your application goes to CPS (the Central Processing System).”

Keese and the financial aid staff took students through the process, step-by-step, to illustrate the sometimes-complex procedure.

“We want them to understand there is a process associated with everything involving financial aid and they’re very important entities outside of the financial aid office that play a critical role in getting the funds to the students,” Keese said. “Each step and each food item represent something in the financial aid process.”

For Louisville senior Daphene Brown, the demonstration worked.

“It was actually explained a lot better this way then to just drop by the financial aid office as a freshman and have them explain it to you,” Brown said.

Gerald Savage, a Lexington senior, saw the flyer for the event in his email inbox and decided to check it out. He also said the informational process paired with a meal helped him better understand the financial aid process.

“We wanted to have the event during lunch time because we have commuter students and sometimes we miss them at evening activities and they’re very important to us,” Keese said.

Keese also emphasized the importance of bringing students into the financial aid office.

“They get a chance to see us and sometimes put a face with a name and that helps, too,” Keese said.

As Keese went through the final steps of the financial aid process, receiving a refund, she handed over a cookie to each student.

“That represents the money you would get,” Keese said, smiling. “They verify your refund and the accounting office sends the money to the bank and you get your money.”

For more information about financial aid at Kentucky State, contact the financial aid office at (502) 597-5960 or