Kentucky students can apply earlier in the year for need-based college scholarships.
Starting this year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be turned in on Oct. 1 instead of the usual Jan. 1 to apply for scholarships administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
KHEAA’s two need-based aid programs — the College Access Program and the Kentucky Tuition Grants Program for private colleges and universities — work on a first-come, first-service basis. The money often runs out in just a couple of months after the deadline, so students are encouraged to turn in their forms as early as possible.
“The October 1 date is beneficial for students and families in two ways. First, it coincides with the time of year when college applications are due,” said Dr. Carl Rollins, KHEAA’s executive director. “The new date also allows for better timing regarding the tax information you must provide. For the 2017-2018 school year, you will provide your 2015 tax information.”
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Awards are not made until a student is accepted at a university.
The change does not affect the KEES scholarship program.
Students and their parents are strongly encouraged to visit https://fsaid.ed.gov now to set up separate user names and passwords. This can be done prior to Oct. 1, and officials say completing this step before that date will make the application process go more smoothly.
Then, to submit the FASFA starting Oct. 1, parents and students can go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Students will need to provide (both for themselves and their parents) Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, federal tax returns, W-2 forms, and current bank and investment statements.
Need-based aid is funded through the Kentucky Lottery. In the 2015-16 school year, these need-based funds totaled $98,846,296 and were distributed to 49,579 students via grants and scholarships in Kentucky.