Some colleges, especially private schools, require an essay as part of the admissions process for college freshmen. That essay may also help when it comes to paying for college, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Generally, the more exclusive the college, the more important the essay may be in admissions and financial aid decisions.

Essays help schools learn more about students by giving them a chance to set themselves apart from other applicants.

“College essays are a great opportunity for students to show schools who they are and share more about their dreams for the future and educational goals,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Give yourself time to edit your essay before you submit — if your writing is thoughtful and free of errors, it will improve your chances of getting in to the school of your choice and receiving scholarships to attend.”

Students who must write an essay as part of the admissions process should have a teacher, school counselor or parent review the essay before it is submitted to the college.

Some schools let students submit nontraditional essays such as poems, song lyrics or videos, which allow students to display their creativity.

KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s student financial aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES). Its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), offers low-cost Advantage Loans to help students and parents pay for college or refinance student loans. For more information about Advantage Loans, visit

Many of KHEAA’s student aid programs are funded by Kentucky Lottery revenue.

For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit; write KHEAA at P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call 800-928-8926, ext. 6-7214.

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