More than 100,000 Kentucky college students eligible for state financial aid will not receive it this year, according to the agency responsible for overseeing the scholarships.
That’s been the story over the past few years. Now, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority is trying to restore funding its owed to help a few thousand more students get money for college.
Since 2008, Kentucky has not met its statutory requirement to provide the College Access Program (CAP) and Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG) with 55 percent of lottery revenues they’re owed, says Erin Klarer, vice president of government relations for KHEAA.
“We have asked for additional money this year that would just fulfill what’s already in the law,” she says.
Last year, the state provided students with $90 million in financial aid. Now, KHEAA is asking for around $30 million more, Klarer says.
But as the General Assembly crafts the biennium budget this year, lawmakers will have tough funding choices to make.
Last year, around 50,000 Kentucky students received state financial aid through CAP or KTG scholarships. An estimated 110,000 eligible students did not, though Klarer points out those numbers are inflated since every high school student is encouraged to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and not all attend Kentucky colleges.
Also, the additional request being made by KHEAA would only help an additional 8,000 students Klarer says.
“It would not even come close to touching the unmet need. But it’s a step.”
State financial aid is first-come, first-serve.
Students could begin applying for financial aid on Jan. 1 and scholarships are retroactively determined later in the spring after colleges accept students. Financial aid has dried up early in the past few years, says Klarer. Last year, those who applied after mid-February did not receive state help.
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