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 that school costs for one 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 fi- nancial 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 can also appeal the awards made if they believe their family’s financial circumstances have changed.
One consideration is how much of the aid being offered is in federal student loans, which will have to be paid back after a student finishes school. If the package includes federal loans and isn’t enough to pay all expenses, students may be looking at a private loan. Comparison shopping is a must in that case.
KHEAA is the state agency that administers the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), need-based grants and other programs to help students pay their higher education expenses.
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.