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Financial Aid January 2011
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Postponing Tax Returns Could Affect Prospects for College Financial Aid

Posted on Thursday, January 06, 2011 [10:52 AM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- It's an annual spring ritual for many Americans to wait until the last minute to file their tax returns. But families with college-bound students could lose out on financial aid if they wait until April 15 to file this year.

"If you plan to attend college in the fall of 2011 and hope to receive financial aid, you should get your taxes done as soon as possible," said Denise Fudge, Lindsey Wilson College vice president for educational outreach and student financial services.

Fudge also advises high school seniors and others who plan to attend college in the fall to begin applying for federal and state financial aid as soon as possible. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be completed online.

"Right now is the most crucial time to apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid for the next school year," Fudge said. "There's a lot of financial aid available, but unless you start investigating it now by completing the FAFSA, there's a chance you could miss out on some of it."

To receive financial aid for the 2011-12 school year, a student or their family must have information regarding 2010 income taxes.

"You can't wait until April 14 to do your taxes if you hope to have a good shot at getting all of the financial aid that you qualify for next school year," Fudge said. "It's crucial to get those taxes done as soon as possible. If you have to wait to do your taxes, at least estimate what your income was for 2010 because that can help in some situations."

In Kentucky, one of the most important pieces of state aid is the Kentucky Tuition Grant. For the 2010-11 school year, the need-based KTG program awarded up to $2,964 to students who attended one of the state's 20 independent colleges and universities.

To qualify for the Kentucky Tuition Grant, students must meet certain income criteria and complete a FAFSA.

"The state of Kentucky gives the KTG to students who qualify and plan to attend one of Kentucky's 20 independent colleges," Fudge said. "It's a very good program because it makes college affordable for many families in the commonwealth."

Kentucky residents can also qualify for a College Access Program grant of up to $1,900. A CAP grant is a need-based program awarded to eligible students who attend any accredited post-secondary institution in the commonwealth.

KTG and CAP awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

More ...
For more information about Kentucky's financial aid programs, visit the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority website:

For more information about the FAFSA, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website:



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