question about personal use
I really don't want to be the person who steals others work, so I thought I would ask this to clarify it for myself.
As a design student, I am often doing projects that require text, however, I wasn't sure if this would fall into personal use or not, as it's being shown, but under no circumstances is it being sold/distributed/etc.
Does this still count as personal use, or would this cross the line into public use?
How that is interpreted varies from person to person. So better ask the question directly to the person who created the font you are using.
Have a look at the terms koeiekat has for his fonts. It is direct to the point. See this one, for example http://www.dafont.com/monogram-kk.font
dangertaylor, if I understand you correctly, You would use the fonts for school work, work that helps you obtain academic credit, but no financial compensation. The work created for the school project would have no commercial value. If this is the case, that's sort of the textbook definition of personal use. The fact that you are a design student, as opposed to a 7th grader, is irrelevant. I don't know of any font that is free for those under 18 years of age, for example.
I say the terms SHOULD be included in the header, even if there is a read me or license file, because there are many, many font download sites to which no one submits fonts, but they add new downloads taken from other sites, often with just the .ttf or .otf file made available for download.
For example, if you Google Candy Inc font, (by Billy argel), you will find dozens of sites hosting this font, but I think Billy only submitted the font to Dafont, Fontspace, and his home page. All, or almost all, of the other sites are using his font on their site without his permission, and perhaps without his knowledge. Many font download .zips, as prepared by the designer, also include artwork or character guides, which are omitted by the fly by night sites that save bandwidth by omitting the non font files.
All times are CET. The time is now 07:58