KHEAA, state and school leaders to ‘Close the Deal’ with high school students

FRANKFORT, Ky.  — State higher education officials joined local, business and education leaders from four Kentucky communities on Aug. 31 to launch Close the Deal. The program helps high school seniors to pursue education after they graduate.

This year Close the Deal programs will be held in October at Grant County, Lincoln County, Paducah Tilghman and Wayne County high schools.

“Close the Deal represents an opportunity for young people to invest in themselves and to also see that there is a community surrounding them that is also willing to invest in their success,” said keynote speaker Colmon Elridge. “That investment is critical for their success, but it is also critical for our Commonwealth’s success, and it is an exciting journey for us all to take together.”

Elridge, a native of Cynthiana, is the director of the National Center of Interstate Compacts for the Council on State Governments. He was previously an executive assistant and senior adviser to Gov. Steve Beshear.

Former Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson created Close the Deal when he was mayor of Louisville because he realized that many high school graduates had no idea what to do next. Abramson expanded the program statewide when he became lieutenant governor.

“We are honored to continue the Close the Deal program, connecting students to financial aid information and resources that will allow them to pursue education and training after high school,” said Carl Rollins, KHEAA’s executive director. “KHEAA has been helping Kentucky families make informed decisions about their higher education options for decades, and Close the Deal enhances our mission to expand educational opportunities to all Kentuckians.”

At each Close the Deal event, KHEAA representatives will show seniors how to apply for financial aid. Local business leaders will discuss the skills the students will need for their careers. Students will also meet with representatives from Kentucky colleges and universities to learn about admissions and about each school.

The 2015 Close the Deal events will take place at:

  • Grant County High School, on Wednesday, Oct. 7;
  • Lincoln County High School, on Friday, Oct. 9;
  • Paducah Tilghman High School, on Tuesday, Oct. 27; and
  • Wayne County High School, on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

KHEAA is the state agency that administers the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), need-based grants and other programs to help students pay their higher education expenses.

To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call 800-928-8926, ext. 6-7372. For more information about Close the Deal, visit


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