Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
November Money Tip for Students
If you have decided to go to college or you are already there, you have made a smart money move. Kentuckians with bachelor’s degrees typically earn $15,000 more a year than people with high school diplomas.
But you need to find the best way to pay for that college education, preferably with money you do not have to pay back. These tips from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) may help.
Your best source of financial aid information will be the financial aid office at your college. A typical financial aid package includes grants, scholarships and student loans. You may also be able to work part-time to reduce the amount of money you have to borrow. Check with your financial aid office to see if you qualify for the work-study program. You can also look for a job off campus.
The amount of state and federal financial aid you receive is determined by a formula set by Congress. To find out how much you may qualify for, you and your parents need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you are applying for a term that starts after July 1, you cannot file before Jan. 1 of that year.
If you are already in college, you should file a FAFSA to reapply for financial aid each year.
Your school may require an additional application for its grants and scholarships. Check with your financial aid office to find out.
A college education increases your earning potential and opens many doors of opportunity. But keep in mind that when you take out a student loan, you are borrowing against your future earnings. Borrowing responsibly may improve your quality of life in the future. Before taking on a lot of student loan debt, you should research the salaries earned by entry-level workers in your intended occupation.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, 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 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.