Special to the Enterprise
Harlan County High School students and their parents have more information on planning for and funding college as a result of the Harlan County Community Scholarship Night held at the school.
Sponsored by Harlan County Community Education, the Harlan County High School Youth Service Center and the high school 21st Century program, various exhibits were provided for students and their parents to browse and learn more about local scholarship opportunities.
In addition, an-hour long program was presented by Miranda Miller, outreach coordinator for the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, on the projected college costs for two-and four-year public and private institutions and on finding and applying for funds to cover costs.
Harlan County Schools Superintendent Mike Howard spoke to those gathered for the “Paying for College 101” program. He noted the event is held annually as a service to parents, helping them identify possible sources of additional funds to help pay for college.
Miller explained College Goal Sunday is scheduled for Jan. 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Union College in Barbourville where assistance with completing the federal financial aid forms will be offered free of charge. She said some funding is very limited and encouraged those planning to apply for financial aid to do so as close to Jan. 1 as possible.
She explained the difference in merit based aid and need based aid. She explained the various funding options under need-based aid, including grants, loans and work study.
Funding sources include the federal and state aid, the KHEAA, institutional aid, private assistance and the military.
Miller also said applicants should avoid paying for assistance, noting that help is available at no cost.
“We want to inform students and parents of the many, many scholarships that are available locally, often just for Harlan County students,” said Community Education Director Cecilia Adams. “This also helps the organizations increase the number of applications so they can choose the most qualified applicants.”
Adams said representatives of local scholarship organizations such as the Harlan County Farm Bureau Scholarship, Harlan County Community Scholarship, Soil Conservation District, the Clarissa Brigmon Foundation, the Cumberland Lions Club Scholarship and many others attended the scholarship fair.They had informational booths set up in the school cafeteria.
Various branches of the armed forces that offer assistance were available to answer questions and talk with prospective recruits.
“We want to prepare the students for different scholarship opportunities and what to do to get them,” said Janet White, the coordinator of the Harlan County High School Youth Service Center. “We’ve had the program here all five years since we’ve been here.”
Adams said more than $60,000 in local scholarship money is available to Harlan County seniors, noting much more is available through postsecondary institutions.
Door prizes donated by local businesses were presented at the end of Miller’s presentation. The prizes included microwaves, dorm refrigerators and other items that college students can utilize.