Apply Now for Fall Financial Aid

If you are planning to enroll at Ashland Community and Technical College next fall, now is the time to apply for financial aid.

You wont know if you are eligible for financial aid unless you apply. Some types of financial aid, such as state CAP grants and scholarships, are limited on a first come basis, and the number of federal Pell grants may be cut this year. So the sooner prospective students apply, the better.

Even though ACTC has lower tuition rates than other colleges and universities in the region, many students qualify for financial aid based on family income.

"Theres no way I could have afforded college without financial aid," said ACTC graduate Dawn Guilds. An Ashland resident now working at ACTC as the Division Assistant for Humanities, Guilds received Pell grants that paid for her tuition. "Financial aid gave me the chance to attend college and pursue my goal of a better life."

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid can be in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, or work study which can help you pay for the tuition and expenses of attending college. Some forms of financial aid have special criteria for eligibility.

Grants are monetary awards that do not have to be repaid under most circumstances. Pell Grants are offered by the federal government to individuals who qualify based upon earnings and other information entered on the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA).

Scholarships are monetary awards that do not have to be repaid. ACTC offers a variety of scholarships for students who have high academic achievement, special talent or financial need.

If needed, students can also apply for loans which must be repaid with interest. A student must be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible Some student loans are subsidized, with no interest accruing on them while a student is enrolled. Unsubsidized loans are also available, but students will need to pay the interest while they are enrolled.

The Federal Work-study program allows students to be paid for work on campus as a way to earn money to help with the expense of attending college. Students must qualify based upon earnings for this type of financial aid.

How to Apply for Aid

To apply for financial aid as a new student, you must have completed the admission process and be in degree, certificate or diploma status. You must also be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen and be registered with the Selective Service as required.

"Applying for financial aid was easy," said Guilds. "After applying to ACTC, I went online to the FAFSA website and applied there. They sent me a report about my eligibility for aid and told me what to do next. They also sent my information to the college, and then the ACTC financial aid office contacted me with what they needed."

Students qualify for financial aid based on their family's income. Students do not necessarily have to be full time to be eligible to receive grants, and Pell Grants may be available to students who are taking as little as one class.

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) is the crucial first step in applying for any type of college aid, including scholarships.

Those filling out the FAFSA will need 2010 IRS tax returns for themselves and/or their parents and any other 2010 income and benefits information. When filling out the form, you will also need the federal school code for ACTC, which is 001990.

The FAFSA can be submitted electronically over the Internet through the web site at fafsa.gov, and ACTC admissions forms are available on the web at ashland.kctcs.edu.

New applicants will also want to fill out the general scholarship application form. The scholarship application form is good for all scholarships except the John T. Smith and Pre-Engineering Scholarships, which have separate applications.

April 1 is the priority deadline to apply for financial aid. For more information on your financial aid options at ACTC or help with the FAFSA, call the Office of Financial Aid, 606-326-2198 or 800-928-4256 ext. 62198 or visit the web at: kctcs.edu/Costs_and_Financial_Aid.

Other Aid for KY Students

Several additional financial aid programs for Kentucky residents are administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Two of those programs are listed below.

The College Access Program (CAP) helps financially needy undergraduate students attend eligible public and private colleges and universities, proprietary schools and technical colleges.

CAP Grants are awarded to Kentucky residents enrolled for at least six semester hours (half time) in academic programs that take at least two years to complete. To qualify for a CAP Grant, a student must be Pell Grant eligible and must complete the FASFA before the March 15 priority deadline.

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES) are awarded to students who make good grades (2.5 GPA or higher) in high school. Higher GPAs earn higher award amounts. GED recipients may earn awards based on their ACT scores. The KEES award is automatically sent to ACTC (or other school) after ACTC notifies KHEAA that you are attending classes.

For more information on KEES and CAP scholarships, go to kheaa.com.