1.1 Introduction to the Financial Aid Office
The KCTCS Financial Aid Office was established to provide leadership, support, and services for the 16 community and technical colleges and assist them with the administration of a comprehensive financial aid program that will provide access and affordability for prospective and current students. The system office staff offers direction and guidance for the colleges by interpreting federal regulations and statutes; monitoring compliance issues; formulating, implementing, and evaluating procedures; and assisting with electronic processes and all financial aid account reconciliation.
1.2 Purpose & Philosophy of the Financial Aid Office
Purpose – The purpose of the Financial Aid Office is to administer programs that enable students, who would not otherwise be able to attend an institution of higher education without the assurance that their basic needs will be met, to gain access to higher education.
Philosophy – The success of the state of Kentucky depends on the success of its citizens. Financial Aid, both government-subsidized and private sources, promotes education and strengthens the community and state as a whole. KCTCS will provide leadership and support for colleges to develop and maintain standardized policies and procedures that provide a comprehensive integrated approach to administer Title IV. Ongoing training will ensure efficient and effective methods for delivering critical processes that provide ease and access to services.
1.3 Policies and Procedures Development Responsibilities
KCTCS colleges follow financial aid rules and regulations established by the United States Congress and regulated by the Department of Education (DOE). The DOE engages in four major types of activities.
- Establishes policies related to federal education funding, administers distribution of funds and monitors their use.
- Collects data and oversees research on America's schools.
- Identifies major issues in education and focuses national attention on them.
- Enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in programs that receive federal funds.
The KCTCS Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid is responsible for providing leadership for administering all financial aid operations. Each of the 16 colleges has a Financial Aid Director who reports to the local college administration and determines staffing levels according to the volume of financial aid processed.
Since each college completes the PPA separately with a signature of approval from the local College President, the local Financial Aid Director is responsible for tracking when they must undergo recertification of its eligibility and any additional changes that must be reported such as new programs, additional locations, or changes in administrators. The local Financial Aid Director is responsible for assuring regulatory compliance by the financial aid office at that college.
The KCTCS Financial Aid Manual will be updated as needed. Review will occur on at least an annual basis. The manual and all other documents and instructions will be maintained electronically on the secure KCTCS intranet website by both the System Financial Aid Office and the 16 colleges.
Both the KCTCS Financial Aid Office and the 16 colleges utilize the DOE website, Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP), and receive weekly emails of recent IFAP postings of federal regulatory policy changes. Additional information is received from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). Various federal, state, and NASFAA training opportunities are available throughout the financial aid year and are attended as needed by financial aid staff.