College-bound seniors should apply for financial aid
High school seniors planning to attend college or technical school should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also called the FAFSA, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). The information on the FAFSA determines if students qualify for federal grants and student loans. It is also required to apply for state grants and scholarships. In addition, many colleges use the information to award their own grants and scholarships.
The FAFSA asks for information about income, assets, and expenses. A formula set by Congress determines eligibility for federal and state aid. If the student is considered a dependent under federal guidelines, both the student and parents/guardians must provide financial information. Nearly all students going directly to college from high school are considered dependent.
Some student aid programs have limited money and provide funds on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible! (The application is available in October.) Even if they don’t think they will qualify for financial aid, seniors should submit the FAFSA. They might be surprised because student aid rules change all the time.
KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s student financial aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES). Its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. (KHESLC), offers low-cost Advantage Loans to help students and families pay for college or to refinance student loans.