FINANCIAL AID for College Students
How Much Does College Cost? • Tuition—typically more expensive at privates or out-of-state, less expensive in-state publics or at a community college (about $4000 per term at WKU this coming year. • Books—typically about $125 per class • Housing—varies by institution, on or off campus; about $2000 per semester at WKU • Meal Plan—varies by institution (about $1200 at WKU.) • Parking Pass—varies by institution, sometimes not required(about $100 a year at WKU.)
How to Pay : • Out-of-Pocket • Merit-Based Aid • Need-Based Aid
Out-of-Pocket Save for College Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust To learn more about KESPT or to enroll, go online at www.kysaves.com
KESPT is a state 529 plan • 529 plans are like 401K’s, only instead of saving for retirement, you are saving for college. • They can be set up in your name, parents’ name, or grandparents’ name. • Usually show growth, but last year when the market tumbled, so did some 529’s.
Save for College If saving in the stock market sounds risky to you, you can also save in: • Certificates of Deposit • Regular Savings Accounts • Money Market Accounts • Mutual Funds These all have different rates of returns and different levels of risk. Check with a financial planner for more detail.
Pay Out of Pocket When the time comes to pay for college, you may want to register for a payment plan. Many colleges use these. For example, WKU works with Tuition Management Systems to set up a 5 payment plan to pay for each semester. You pay June 1, July 1, Aug 1, Sept 1, and Oct 1 for the fall semester. Some students apply for “free aid” and pay out of pocket for the remainder of the bill, rather than borrowing Student Loans.
Free Money—Need or Merit “Free Money” for college is generally: • Need Based(based on your and your parents’ income & assets) or • Merit Based (based your Academic or Athletic Prowess )
Types of Merit Based • KEES money—Based on High School GPA and ACT scores. • Scholarships—Available from many sources, including: • The College you plan to attend apply. Due dates are EARLY, sometimes Jan. of Senior year • Third Parties—check in your community. Many banks, churches, and social organizations offer scholarships.
Info On KEES Find information on KEES online using your ZIP Account at KHEAA.com
Apply for Need Based Aid • The primary document to file for Need Based Aid is the FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid. • Learn more about the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov • DON’T GO to FAFSA.COM—They will charge you $80 to file!! The whole point of FAFSA is that it is FREE!! • Do FAFSA during Spring Semester, Senior year, if possible, by Feb. 15th
Types of Need Based Aid • Federal Pell Grant • Kentucky’s CAP Grant • SEOG grant • Kentucky’s KTG Grant • TEACH “grant” • Stafford loans, Subsidized or Unsub • Parent PLUS loans
Pell Grant • Awarded by Federal government, based on household Income and Assets. • At this time, a maximum Pell Grant is $2,675 per semester. • Must complete a FAFSA and be a US Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen (i.e. a permanent resident with a “Green Card.”
CAP Grant • Grant given by the state of Kentucky • Need based, or based on Household income and assets. • Currently max CAP is $950 per semester. • Must complete FAFSA by Kentucky deadline (currently Feb. 15th). • Must be a US Citizen or Elig. Non-Citizen and a Kentucky Resident.
KTG Grant Kentucky Tuition Grant • For private schools in Kentucky • Need based, just like CAP only for private Kentucky colleges. • Must complete FAFSA, be a US Citizen or Elig. Non-Citizen, and a resident of Kentucky.
SEOG Grant Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant • Smaller grant (currently $250 per semester at WKU). • Federal money that schools decide how best to spend to serve their highest need students. • Must file FAFSA, be US Citizen or Elig. Non-Citizen.
Subsidized Stafford Loan • A government-backed loan students can take in their own name. • No credit check. • Can choose to defer repayment until student graduates or leaves school for longer than 6 months. • Government pays the interest to the lender while student is enrolled. • Current interest rate 5.4% for 09-10.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan • A government-backed loan students can take in their own name. • No credit check. • Can choose to defer repayment until student graduates or leaves school for longer than 6 months. • Student is responsible for the interest that accrues while student is enrolled. • Current interest rate 6.8% for 09-10.
Parent Plus Loan • Loan in the Parent’s name. • Credit check is performed, parent may be denied. • Current interest rate is 8.5% • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is taken out. • Loan from US Dept. of Education
Private Loans USE Federal Aid FIRST • Require a co-signer. • In student’s or parent’s name. • Interest rate generally higher than government loan. • Terms generally less favorable. • Interest accrues while student in school & repayment to begin after school. • Kentucky Advantage Education Loan
To-Do Now • Make good grades. • If you take a part-time or summer job, save some of your earnings. • Check into savings products. • Participate in activities that look good on scholarship applications. • Clubs, contests, HS Portfolio, community service, organizations, etc.
To-Do Senior Year • Comparison shop. • Apply for scholarships. • Complete FAFSA early. • Talk with your guidance counselor, college counselor and your college’s financial aid department.