KHEAA will be at the Kentucky State Fair. For help with your higher education and financial aid questions, visit

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1 Your KHEAA College Connection July 2014 KHEAA will be at the Kentucky State Fair Kentuckians attending the State Fair in Louisville Aug can pick up free student financial aid information at the College Info Road Show booth in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. The College Info Road Show, a mobile classroom sponsored by KHEAA, will be on Main Street, near the Safety Town and educational exhibit areas. At the fair, students and parents can find free college planning and financial aid materials and resources. They can also register to win a $500 college savings account. KHEAA outreach staff will be on hand to answer questions from students, parents, school counselors and other college access providers. Visitors to KHEAA s booth will find helpful free guides such as The College Circuit, Surviving College, Getting In and Adults Returning to School. Students and families can also learn how to request a free copy of Getting the Facts, a personalized report that helps students estimate how much financial aid they may receive at the schools they want to attend. For help with your higher education and financial aid questions, visit KHEAA is an EEO employer. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

2 Make good use of your student ID card If you re headed to college this fall, you ll most likely be issued a student ID card during orientation or registration. Most likely, your card will have your photo and student number on it. Most colleges require students to carry their ID cards with them at all times while on campus. Your ID card will often be your dorm room key and your debit card for on-campus meals and the bookstore. It s also your entry into many campus buildings, such as libraries, labs, test centers, campus health centers, workout facilities and some classrooms. Many ID cards have a barcode imbedded in them, which lets you use your card to register for classes, add or drop classes, view your financial aid, view your final grades and more. Don t deface the card or damage it in any way, and try not to lose it. Your first ID card is usually free, but you ll most likely have to pay for a new one. Kentuckians have chance to win ipad from KHEAA Kentucky residents have another chance to win a new ipad from KHEAA in a sweepstakes being held through Facebook in August. The contest runs from 12 a.m. on Aug. 1 through 12 a.m. on Sept. 1. To enter, click on the orange graduate icon on the KHEAA Facebook page, answer one question about college, and like KHEAA on Facebook. KHEAA will not share or sell any personal information to a third party. Only Kentucky residents are eligible. Prior winners are not eligible. Employees of KHEAA or its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), and their immediate family members are not eligible. The drawing will be held in early September, and the winner will be notified by . The winner must respond by within three calendar days to receive the ipad. If no response is received within three days, another winner will be drawn. 2

3 Private loans can help cover college costs College-bound students may be able to tap into many sources of financial aid to help pay for their education, including federal and state grants, scholarships and Federal Stafford and PLUS Loans. In addition, local scholarships are often available. Those programs can ease the burden of paying for college. However, they may not be enough to cover all the costs. When that happens, many people consider private student loans, also called alternative loans. The interest rate on private loans will largely depend on the borrower s credit rating. So, students and parents may have to pay higher interest rates than they would on federal student loans. In addition, many lenders require students to have a cosigner, and some require the college to certify that the student needs the loan. Students and parents are encouraged to do research before committing to any loan. They should compare the loans offered by various lenders to find the best possible deal. KHESLC lowers interest rates on college loans Kentucky students and parents who need help paying for college may now qualify for lower interest rates on Kentucky Advantage Education Loans from KHESLC. Interest rates are fixed and are as low as 4.95 percent. The exact rate will depend on creditworthiness and choice of payment plan. The low-cost loans fill the gap between other financial aid a student receives and the total cost of education. Students should apply for all free aid, such as grants and scholarships, then for Federal Stafford Loans before applying for a private loan. To qualify for an Advantage Loan, the student must: Be a Kentucky resident enrolled in an approved school or a non-kentucky resident enrolled in an approved Kentucky school. Be 18 by the date of application. Be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen with a proof of residency card. Have an acceptable credit history or an approved cosigner. To qualify for a parent Advantage Loan, the borrower must: Be the parent or stepparent of an undergraduate or graduate student, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen with a proof of residency card. Have an acceptable credit history or an approved cosigner. The loans are available to students attending eligible colleges and universities. Applications may be submitted online at kheslc.com or at advantageeducationloan.com. For more information, call

4 Students should check KEES accounts for accuracy Kentucky high school students and 2014 graduates should check their Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) accounts for accuracy. KEES allows students to earn money for college by getting good grades in high school and for qualifying scores on the ACT or SAT. Students eligible for free or reduced lunches may also earn awards for good scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. KEES is administered by KHEAA. To check awards and personal information, students need to use the MyKHEAA function on If they do not already have a MyKHEAA account, they can set one up using the Sign In button on the KHEAA home page. Students can verify their KEES GPA is correct by taking the letter grade for each course taken during the year and converting it to a 4.0 scale. On this scale, an A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, and F = 0. AP and IB course grades receive one extra point, making an A = 5.0, B = 4.0, etc. The GPA is calculated by adding all the points together and dividing the total by the number of credits earned during the year. Pluses and minuses are not taken into account, so an A-minus and an A-plus are both worth 4.0 points. In addition to KEES, students should check their personal information: name, date of birth, address and Social Security number. Students who need to have GPAs or other information corrected should contact their high school counselor. If students have problems with their MyKHEAA account or cannot see their KEES information, they should call the KHEAA College Access Team at Gap year, summer melt may keep students off campus Students who are college-bound upon high school graduation sometimes don t end up at their intended college campus in the fall. Two reasons why they don t are called the gap year and the summer melt. Taking a gap year means a student spends the first year after graduating from high school doing something other than going to college. Some students choose to spend that year studying abroad, traveling, doing volunteer work or taking a job in a field they re interested in pursuing as a career. That gives them a chance to see the world and to gain maturity and more self-confidence. It can also help them decide what they want to do with their lives after finishing their college education. That knowledge can help them focus their college experience to prepare themselves for their eventual career. 4 (Continued on next page)

5 Gap year (Continued from page 4) Of course, taking a gap year may also have some disadvantages, such as putting them a year behind their high school classmates. A gap year that involves traveling and studying abroad can be expensive. Their study skills can erode while they re not in school. And there s always the chance that they just somehow never get around to enrolling in college when the gap year is over. Summer melt The term summer melt refers to when students who have applied to and been accepted to college don t show up on campus in the fall. Although they had every intention of enrolling in classes, something kept them from doing so. The reasons are many, but the most common are these: They don t have the help, role models and mentors they need to keep them on track to register. They face financial challenges, especially if they re from single-parent families or they re the first in their family to attend college. Their high school friends aren t going to college. A study by Lindsay Page and Ben Castleman at Harvard University found that summer melt students tend to be from low-income households, have weaker grades and plan to go to community colleges instead of four-year schools. These students have a harder time completing the paperwork required, especially financial aid forms. One proposed solution is to have high school counselors or college staff help these students during the summer after high school graduation. Paying for those services is the major stumbling block. There is help for your seniors and recent graduates. KHEAA s Outreach department helps students and their families overcome barriers to ensure they reach their postsecondary plans. KHEAA has outreach staff who live and work in 13 regions of Kentucky, as well as the College Info Road Show that travels all over the state. To help increase the state s college-going rate, KHEAA sponsors and works with many outreach programs, such as the second annual I m Going to College 55K Signing Day and Pep Rally in Louisville. Ninety percent of Jefferson County public high school graduates apply, but only 60 percent of the graduates actually enter college in the fall. The I m Going to College program works to increase that 60 percent rate. If you need help getting your seniors and recent graduates through summer melt obstacles, please contact us. Our outreach services are available year-round to provide free college planning and financial aid assistance at: Financial aid nights. Career fairs. College nights. Financial literacy workshops. KEES workshops. FAFSA workshops. PTA meetings. Adult education programs. 5

6 High school planners Freshman Year You re starting your first year of high school. Begin on the right foot and keep on track. Develop good study habits Explore careers that interest you Familiarize yourself with your Individual Learning Plan (ILP) Make good grades slacking off your first year can come back to haunt you Make sure you understand how the KEES program works Junior Year Be prepared and stay on course your junior year. Be aware of national test and scholarship deadlines. Your senior year is just around the corner! Talk with your school counselor about your options and your plans. Be sure to ask about test dates for the PSAT, ACT and SAT. You ll need to register up to six weeks ahead of time. Get schedules and forms for the SAT, ACT and AP exams Ask for a preview of your academic record and profile. Talk with your school counselor on how you can maximize your ability to get accepted to the school of your choice Set up an account on Sophomore Year Here s what you need to do to keep your high school years on track. Talk with your counselor about Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate and dual credit courses Explore careers that interest you Check your ILP to make sure you re on track Go to your account to make sure your information is correct: name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, GPA Sign up for the PLAN test Consider taking the PSAT as a prep for your junior year, when it counts Make a list of colleges you might be interested in Start looking at scholarships you might want to apply for Develop a list of colleges you re interested in. Check out Getting In, a KHEAA publication that lists Kentucky colleges and universities Begin planning college visits. Your fall, winter and spring breaks are good times because you can observe a campus when classes are going on Senior Year Seniors, here are some things you can do to be prepared for graduation and college. Ask colleges you re interested in to send you admissions information If you re applying for Early Decision, start filling out the forms to meet the college s deadline If you haven t taken the ACT/SAT or if you think you can do better, register Get with your counselor to find out about the financial aid sources available to you. Use KHEAA s Affording Higher Education. Copies are sent to high school counselors, high school libraries and public libraries 6

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