Demand Grows for FAFSA Funds

by J.R. Enderle

Transylvania’s Office of Financial Aid urges all students to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as they possibly can for the 2010-2011 academic year.

“There will be a significant amount of financial aid available,” said Dave Cecil, director of financial aid.

However, Cecil added, nationwide economic troubles have expanded the pool of applicants for specific grants.

“We are concerned about the Kentucky CAP Grant,” Cecil said.

According to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority’s Web site (, the College Access Program is a grant for Kentucky’s financially needy undergraduate students. The Web site states that the maximum award for the grant is currently $1,900.

Cecil said that students eligible for the CAP grant are Kentucky residents eligible for Pell grants, and he urges students to apply no later than March 1.

Last year the program’s funds were exhausted by March 23, and Cecil said that the same thing is expected to happen substantially earlier this year due to an increased number of eligible applicants. According to Cecil, state aid is expected to be funded at the same rate as last year.

While the Office of Financial Aid is particularly concerned that students eligible for the CAP Grant apply early, Cecil encourages all students to apply as early as they can but definitely by March 1. He said that filling out the forms early increases the chance of receiving aid in the form of grants due to their limited funding.

Cecil said that filling out the FAFSA should be easier than in past years because of a recent streamlining of the online application. About 50 questions have been eliminated, and the online form now uses what the U.S. Department of Education is calling “skip logic.” Essentially this new feature draws information from questions already answered to remove inapplicable questions.

Not only has the FAFSA been reworked, but recent legislation has increased the amount of some federal awards. Cecil said that the maximum amount of federal Pell grants has been raised from $5,350 to $5,550.

After the FAFSA has been filled out and sent in Cecil encourages students to come speak with someone from the Office of Financial Aid if they have extenuating circumstances that they feel are not reflected in the questions answered on the FAFSA.

The Office of Financial Aid, located on the third floor of Old Morrison, is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. The office can be contacted at or (859) 233-8239.


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