Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
April Financial Aid Tip of the Month
By now, most high school seniors should have completed the college application process and will begin receiving financial aid award letters. Seniors and their parents should compare those letters to find the one that offers the best financial aid package, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) advises.
The letter will usually show the total cost of attendance — what it costs to go to that school for one school year, including tuition, fees, room, meals, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses.
It may also show how much the student’s family is expected to pay toward those costs, the expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is subtracted from the total cost of attendance to get a student’s financial need. The letter will then list various sources of financial aid offered to pay for the costs not covered by the EFC. Students can accept or reject any or all of those proposed sources.
Students should consider how much of the financial aid will have to be paid back after finishing school, especially if the financial aid package includes federal student loans. If the package is not enough to pay all expenses, students may apply for a private education loan. Students and parents may visit www.kheaamarketplace.com to compare loan terms and interest rates to find the best private loan for their needs.
Often more expensive schools will offer scholarships that may help bring the cost of attendance in line with other, less expensive schools. Students should consider all of their options and compare costs before selecting a college or university.
To find links to other useful education websites, go to www.gotocollege.ky.gov. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call 800-928-8926, ext. 6-7372.