Tuition Waivers, Reciprocity Agreements and Other Discounts
The Kentucky legislature has set into statute several ways students may qualify for free or reduced tuition at KCTCS, a state university or a vocational school operated and funded by the Kentucky Department of Education.
To qualify, the student must be a Kentucky resident or a family member of a (once) Kentucky resident. (See sidebar for state definitions of residency.) The amounts granted by these waivers vary, and may be dependent upon state and federal funds available for use.
Students who believe they qualify for a tuition waiver should contact the financial aid office of their intended school to receive further instruction on the application process.
Members of the Military and National Guard
- Tuition waivers for war veterans
- Tuition waiver for members of the Kentucky National Guard - KRS 164.5161
- Tuition rates for nonresident veterans, members of Reserve components, and active members of the Kentucky National Guard and their spouse or dependents- KRS 164.2844
Family of Military Members or National Guard
- Tuition waivers for widow, or widower of members of the Armed Forces or of members of the National Guard killed while in service or having died as a result of service-connected disability - KRS 164.505
- Tuition waivers for deceased veteran's spouse or child under age 26 - KRS 164.507
- Tuition waiver for disabled child of veteran - KRS 164.512
- Tuition waiver for spouse or child under age 26 of permanently disabled member of the National Guard, war veteran, prisoner of war, or member of the Armed Services missing in action - KRS 164.515
Family of Civil Servants
- Tuition waivers at a public institution for a survivor of police officer, firefighter, or volunteer firefighter killed in line of duty and other state-administered retirement system participants who died as a result of duty-related injury - KRS 164.2841
- Free tuition at public institution for survivor of police officer, firefighter, or volunteer firefighter permanently and totally disabled in line of duty -and other state-administered retirement system participants disabled as a result of duty-related injury - KRS 164.2842
Educators and Child-Care Employees
- Tuition-free courses for supervising teachers and resource teachers - KRS 164.2845
- Scholarships and awards for persons who are employed or provide training in child-care and early childhood settings - KRS 164.518
Foster or Adopted Children
Nonresident Children and Siblings of Graduates
Residents of Coal-Producing Counties
- Scholarships and awards for residents of coal-producing counties who are attending postsecondary education institutions located in coal-producing counties - KRS 164.7894
Tuition reciprocity agreements allow a qualified resident from one state to attend certain colleges in other states for a greatly reduced tuition rate. Usually these programs are reserved for students who live in the same region but not the same state. It is important to note that reciprocity may only apply to certain schools in the region.
For more information and how to take advantage of the agreement, contact the financial aid office of the student's intended school.
- Kentucky-Indiana (Multiple campuses)
- Northern Kentucky University, Gateway Community and Technical College and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Clark State Community College, Miami University Hamilton, Miami University Middletown Southern State Community College University of Cincinnati
- Ashland Community and Technical College, Maysville Community and Technical College,
Morehead State University and
Ohio University-Athens, Ohio University-Southern, Rio Grande Community College, Shawnee State University, Southern State Community College
- Maysville Community and Technical College and University of Cincinnati - Clermont College, Miami University Hamilton, Miami University Middletown
- Kentucky-West Virginia (Multiple campuses)
Other Discounts Available
Kentucky offers several ways for students to save on tuition costs. With exception of Academic Common Market and campus institutional aid, these programs are offered through the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Below are listed just a few of the options available. To get personalized assistance in learning what's available and applying, contact the KHEAA outreach counselor for the student's region.
Academic Common Market
Academic Common Market, a program available through Kentucky's participation in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and facilitated by the Council, provides tuition assistance for those student's wishing to major in a program not offered at a Kentucky institution. Learn more about the Academic Common Market.
College Access Program Grants
College Access Program Grants (CAP grants) are need-based grants given to students who prove financial need based on income. To learn more, contact staff at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-928-8926.
Contract Spaces, another SREB initiative, is a state scholarship program that reduces tuition costs for veterinary medicine or optometry professional programs. To learn more, contact staff at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) by email at email@example.com or by calling 800-928-8926.
In addition to state and federal sources, most Kentucky colleges and universities offer additional financial aid or grants to offset tuition costs. To view average amounts of grants and scholarships offered, check out the "Financial Aid" tab of the Kentucky Students' Right to Know dashboard. To get more information about institutional financial aid, contact the financial aid office of the student's prospective school.
Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships
Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships (KEES program) provide scholarships to Kentucky students who earn at least a 2.5 GPA each year of attendance at a high school. To learn more, contact staff at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-928-8926.
Kentucky Tuition Grants
Kentucky Tuition Grants (KTG Program) are need--based grants available for students attending in-state private colleges. To learn more, contact staff at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) by email at email@example.com or by calling 800-928-8926.
For those interested in a workforce certificate or associates degree, Kentucky has a WorkReady Scholarship, which is a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the state covers remaining tuition costs after financial aid has been applied. Over 2,600 course options are available in the following areas.
- Advanced manufacturing
- Business and IT
- Transportation and logistics
Last Updated: 8/17/2022