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Taylor County students receive more than $8.5 million in financial aid at CU

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Joan C. McKinney

Campbellsville University

Taylor County students have received a little more than $8.5 million in financial aid from Campbellsville University (CU) to assist with their tuition cost for the 2012-2013 academic year. About $3.2 million of that is directly from CU in the form of scholarships and grants.

Chris Tolson, director of financial aid, said 445 Taylor County students have received the aid. The $8.5 million figure includes institutional financial aid, endowed scholarships, state and federal financial aid, grants and student loans.

"We continue to match the KEES Scholarship Fund," she said. "On average this is an extra $1,300 from CU's KEES Matching Scholarship Fund."

Tolson said Taylor County students "listened to our advice and filed their free application for Federal Financial Aid early this year that resulted in more students receiving one or both of the Kentucky state need-based grants."

Tolson said students and families are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA as soon after Jan. 1 as possible. You can estimate your income now and update when your taxes are filed.

"We are thankful to have a great number of students from Campbellsville/Taylor County. As evidenced by the amount of financial aid that these students are receiving from CU, we are fully committed to providing a well-trained and educated work force in our community," Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, said.

"There is a direct correlation between educational attainment and economic success - both for the individual and for the community. We are very fortunate to be located in a community where there is widespread support for CU and for the importance of educational achievement," he said.

The total amount of financial aid awarded to all CU students is about $40 million, which includes federal aid, in state aid, institutional aid and outside aid.

CU offers academic scholarships ranging from $4,500 to $10,500. Academic scholarships are awarded to students based on ACT or SAT scores combined with their high school GPA and class ranking.

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, the state agency that administers the two state need-based grant programs, CAP and KTG, ran out of funding the first week of February this year.

"It is imperative for Kentucky residents to file their FAFSAs in January," Tolson said.

She said CU is pleased to have been selected as a site to host "College Goal Sunday" again this year.

College Goal Sunday will be Sunday, Jan. 13, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Banquet Hall of the Badgett Academic Support Center.

"This will be an opportunity to talk to financial aid administrators and get assistance filing your FAFSA," Tolson said. She invited everyone to attend.

Students and parents can start the process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application, which can be done online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The 2013-2014 FAFSA will be available online beginning Jan. 1.

Tolson said, "A college education is a major commitment and requires financial planning. We understand the significant value of investing in our local community and are committed to helping them pay for an education at Campbellsville University."

To contact the Office of Financial Aid, email finaid@campbellsville.edu or call 789-5013. Scholarship and financial aid information is also posted on the website at www.campbellsville.edu/offices/financial-aid.