A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Making college more affordable: A combination of more state funding and increased college access grants


Kentucky students who need financial aid to pay for college or technical training will have more help this fall, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE).

Through a combination of more state funding, supported by Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky General Assembly, and a changing applicant population, KHEAA is increasing the maximum awards for College Access Program (CAP) grants, which provide need-based assistance to undergraduate students.

“Education is one of my administration’s top priorities, and it is critical that we continue to make investments in the educational future of our citizens whenever we can,” said Gov. Beshear. “With the service and commitment from agencies such as KHEAA and CPE, our citizens can achieve their educational goals while helping make Kentucky more competitive in today’s global economy. Together, we will expand opportunities to change lives and create the commonwealth all our kids deserve.”

For 2021–22, CAP grants will offer students up to $2,900 at eligible four-year institutions and up to $2,200 at the state’s eligible community and technical colleges. With the increases in CAP and the Federal Pell Grant to $6,495 for 2022, many students could have all their college expenses paid.

“By allowing all Kentucky Lottery funds to support KHEAA’s grants and scholarships, Gov. Beshear and members of the General Assembly have enabled KHEAA to assist high-need Kentucky students and families going to college and reduce the amount they need to borrow,” said KHEAA Executive Director Gene Hutchins. “We are optimistic that with the support of the Governor and Legislature and the continued growth of the lottery, coupled with the interest in expanding the Pell Grant, we can achieve our goal of covering tuition and fees at all our public institutions for our most financially disadvantaged in the near future.”

There is still a lot to be done, but KHEAA and CPE are working together to help Kentucky students afford higher education.

“Affordability is central to the mission of higher education, and we cannot allow income disparities to eclipse the talent and potential of our students,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “These increases in need-based grants will help us provide greater access, equity and value at a time when Kentucky needs to mobilize our full intellectual capacity toward recovery. I want to thank Gov. Beshear and the General Assembly for recognizing these needs and for opening the door for so many bright and deserving students.”

For more information on KHEAA and its services, visit kheaa.com or call 800-928-8926.

For more information on CPE and its services, visit cpe.ky.gov.


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