Free college already available for many Kentuckians | KCTCS

Free college already available for many Kentuckians

There’s a lot of talk about the idea of free community college. All across the U.S., higher ed leaders, elected officials and families are trying to determine what it will mean for individuals, their communities and our country if community college is free.

You might be surprised to know that many students attending one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System already attend for free or nearly free. Here’s how they do it.

  • Federal Pell grants. This is not a loan so there’s no student debt.
  • Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, which covers tuition for numerous programs.
  • Dual credit scholarships for high school students.
  • Learn and earn programs like KY FAME and apprenticeships. 
  • Grants and scholarships through our colleges or outside organizations such as Rotary Clubs and the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

To take part in most of these programs, prospective students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every year, Americans leave money on the table by not filing a FAFSA. There are several reasons for this. One is that people don’t know about it. Also, some don’t think they qualify for aid, and some think it’s just for loans. 

Although it’s clear there are people with a tremendous amount of student loan debt, that is not the case for our students. Only 16% rely on student loans and they borrow less than $5,000 annually.

If you do need to borrow, keep in mind our tuition is the lowest in Kentucky. And, because we froze tuition this year, you’ll pay the same low rate as last year. In fact, two years at a KCTCS college could save you more than $32,000 when compared to the cost of two years at a university. 

So don’t let the cost of college deter you from working toward your dream career. We have numerous ways for you to get there and it could be free or nearly free.

Check for more information or call the community college you’d like to attend and speak with a financial aid counselor.