When it comes to deciding which college to attend – and more importantly, how to pay for it – it’s easy for students and their families to get lost.

That’s why the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority offers students and their families a free report to help them get the facts.

Through KHEAA’s “Getting the Facts” report, students and their families can get a personalized breakdown of college costs and estimated financial aid available to them. The report is available online at kheaa.com under the “quick links” section.

Erin Klarer, vice president of government relations for KHEAA, said she’s often seen families get “sticker shock” when navigating the cost of college. The problem is magnified by the fact that many families don’t start thinking about how they’re going to pay for their child’s post-secondary education until they’re almost there.

The report aims to “allow people to think about their financial decisions with the most information possible,” Klarer said, adding that it’s particularly geared at high school-age students and younger.

Through the college planning tool, Klarer said students can compare up to six schools of their choice, either in or out of state. It offers a side-by-side comparison of costs, including the estimated cost of attendance and not just tuition and fees.

The report aims to help prospective students assess their options and plan around them. The information could help students realize they’ll need a part-time job while in school or maybe start out at a two-year school to save money, Klarer said.

It isn’t exclusively for high school students looking ahead to graduation, either. The “Getting the Facts” report might interest adults returning to school, too.

“We want them to plan, not just for getting in the door, but to plan for completion of their degree as well,” Klarer said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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