Kentucky Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money
Each year, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicates millions of dollars in its annual budget to support education grants for students attending college.
These tax-free grants are administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and require no repayment as long as all of the grant conditions are fulfilled.
The grant awards can be used for educational expenses like tuition, books and housing. As with most states, these grants are location-specific and can only be used for education at a college, university, community college or trade school within Kentucky.
Grants Offered in Kentucky
The types of grants offered by Kentucky range from supporting low-income students to those pursuing degrees in a high-needs field like health care and teaching.
They range in the amounts of monies provided from $100 to $3,000 per academic year. Most have very specific eligibility requirements that must be proven before a grant is awarded. The major requirement is that the student applying for a Kentucky education grant be a resident of the state.
Awarding of Grants in Kentucky
In most cases, the amount of a Kentucky grant award will be based upon other financial aid a student is receiving, such as federal grants or loans. Students may not receive a total financial package that exceeds the total costs of their education.
Most Kentucky education grants are awarded based upon financial need, academic performance or a combination of both. Each grant has different eligibility requirements, so it is important that students carefully examine the application guidelines before applying.
The following information describes the various education grants offered to Kentucky students and their eligibility requirements.
College Access Program (CAP) Grants
The College Access Program (CAP) provides grants to help the Commonwealth's financially needy undergraduate students attend an eligible school of higher education.
These grants are awarded to Kentucky residents who are enrolled for at least six semester hours (half-time) in an academic program that takes at least two years to complete. The award is based solely upon financial need and can be used by students in any field of study. In order to qualify, a student's expected annual family contribution towards an education cannot exceed $5,273.
The maximum amount is $1,900 per year, but can be as low as $200 per year depending upon hours of enrollment and other financial aid a student is qualified to receive.
The funds are applied directly to a student's education expenses. CAP grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are depleted for the year.
Kentucky Tuition Grants (KTG)
The Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTC) Program provides support for qualified students attending independent colleges within the Commonwealth. The grants are awarded based upon financial need and can only be applied to attendance at a private school that has been approved and accredited according the Kentucky statutes.
These funds are not available for attendance at a school that is comprised solely of religious studies. All recipients must reside in Kentucky, be enrolled in a Baccalaureate or Associate's program and be attending school full-time. The KTG program is designed to assist students with the higher tuition costs normally found at independent educational institutions.
The awards generally range from $200 to $3,000 per academic year. One of the conditions on use of the awards is that they cannot be used for most correspondence and internet courses. The only exceptions are courses taken through the Kentucky Virtual Campus.
Go Higher Grants
The Go Higher Grant program is geared towards Kentucky residents who are 24 years of age an older seeking a college education. It is structured to benefit adults who enroll in college courses while also working full-time jobs.
These grants provide up to $1,000 per year to help cover the costs of tuition and books. Recipients must be enrolled in undergraduate programs for no more than six credit hours at in a Kentucky college or university. Eligibility is determined by financial need.
Other Kentucky Education Grants
The Commonwealth of Kentucky also provides a limited number of grants to both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in high-needs areas like teaching and health care.
These grants are usually tightly targeted to people who agree to serve for a period of years in high-risk schools or medically under-served communities after graduation. They are tax-free and do not have to be repaid unless a recipient declines to honor the service commitment as stipulated in the grant guidelines.
In that case, the recipient is required to repay the entire amount of grant awards they received, sometimes with interest. The one advantage to this type of grant is that applicants in high-needs majors are usually given top priority for receiving the highest grant awards.
Check for Individual School Grants
Many colleges and universities throughout Kentucky also offer lesser-known grants specific to individual schools. These grants are usually the result of an endowment gifted to the schools by private donors.
The programs are usually overseen by the administration of the school and are governed by guidelines as stipulated by the donor. Most of these types of grants have very specific qualifications and some are very competitive in their structure.
The grant awards can usually only be used for education costs at the school that oversees the endowment. The best way to gain information on these lesser-known grants is through contacting a school's financial aid office.
Applying for Kentucky Education Grants
All students seeking to obtain a Kentucky student education grant must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the U.S. Department of Education.
This form can be easily found through the U.S. Department of Education website and filed online. It must be completed and filed annually by both prospective and current students at all levels of study.
Applications are accepted beginning January 1st of each year and any pertinent changes in personal information must be updated with each new filing.
Using the FAFSA
The information provided on the FAFSA determines a student's eligibility for both federal and Kentucky educational financial aid. The form requires that a student provide very detailed information about their families assets, incomes and other financial matters.
Unless someone is totally dependent from a guardian, all applicants filing the FAFSA form must include this information. The form is used to determine the levels of financial aid a student may receive based upon a family's expected contribution towards a college education.
Once the form has been reviewed, the student is sent a Student Aid Report by mail that details the amount of financial aid they are qualified to receive. Copies of this Student Aid Report must be attached to any application for a Kentucky student grant.
Filling Out the FAFSA Correctly
It is extremely important that students provide all the information required on the FAFSA form. Almost all grants provided in Kentucky are based on financial need and hinge on the federal Student Aid Report. When filling out the FAFSA form, it is necessary to have all important documents on hand so that in-depth, accurate information can be provided.
Even the slightest error on the form can mean the difference between receiving a full or partial grant award. Because many Kentucky student grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, it is also important that all application forms be filed as early as possible.
Anyone seeking to obtain student financial aid must meet all of the eligibility standards as set forth in the FAFSA application. In addition to being a resident of the Commonwealth, all Kentucky student grants also require the same eligibility standards. These standards include:
- being a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. national or an eligible non-resident;
- having a valid Social Security number;
- having a high school diploma or GED;
- being registered with the Selective Service (if applicable);
- not having defaulted, or owing refunds on, any federal or state grants or loans;
- not being found guilty of an illegal drug charge while student aid was being received.
The FAFSA Process
The application forms for Kentucky education grants are normally provided by a school's financial aid office once they have received and reviewed the results of a student's FAFSA application. Once a Student Aid Report is received, it is best for students to contact the financial aid offices of prospective colleges they wish to attend to find out what kind of financial aid packages they are willing to offer.
In some cases, it may not cost a student any more to attend a high-priced school than a lower-priced one. As with all student grants, it is important for students to file the applications for Kentucky education grants on time and to forward any additional information requested by a financial aid office as quickly as possible.
More information on the application process for Kentucky students grants can be found by contacting the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority at 1-800-928-8926 or through their website.
Beware of Scams
The billions of dollars offered for student grants at both federal and state levels has brought an increase in the number of scam businesses promoting "free" access to education grants.
While there are some legitimate, non-profit entities that will help students with the financial aid process, many of the grant assistance businesses being promoted on the Internet are nothing more than scams seeking to gain someones personal information or money while offering very little, or nothing, in return.
Many of these scam businesses have become very adept at appearing to be legitimate organizations that specialize in state-level student grants, including Kentucky.