For years, millions of scholarship dollars have been diverted away from Kentucky’s need-based financial aid programs to the General Fund. Kentucky has two need-based financial aid programs funded by the lottery, called College Access Program (CAP) and the Kentucky Tuition Grant. According to state law, lottery funding should be split three ways, with $3 million going directly to literacy programs, the next 45 percent going to the merit-based Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) and the remaining 55 percent split between CAP and KTG.
However, due to the diversion of funds and lack of funding overall, More than half of CAP-eligible did not receive the scholarship in 2015. One-third of KTG-eligible students were turned away as well.
Studies have shown that need-based financial aid increases college enrollment among low- and moderate-income students and increases college persistence and the number of credits earned. Fully funding scholarships for need-based students is crucial to lifting people out of poverty and is a key part of building thriving communities for everyone.