April 15 deadline approaching for West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program applications

~Higher Education Policy Commission approves increase in award amount for students beginning this fall~

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today reminded students that April 15 is the deadline to submit the needed paperwork to be considered for the Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), the state’s need-based financial aid offering, for college beginning this fall. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the application for HEGP, and is the only document students need to complete to see if they qualify.

“We always encourage students to complete the FAFSA to see if they are eligible for this grant program, which helps cover the cost of tuition and fees at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the state,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “And if students qualify for both the Higher Education Grant and the PROMISE Scholarship Program, they are in a strong position to have their tuition covered in full – and perhaps leave college with no debt at all.”

At today’s meeting of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the board approved a $100 increase in the maximum award amount for the HEGP to $2,700 for the 2016-17 academic year.

The West Virginia Higher Education Grant is designed to ensure West Virginia students with financial need are given an opportunity to pursue postsecondary education. West Virginia allows students to combine, or “stack,” financial aid awards, allowing students who qualify for the HEGP and PROMISE to receive up to $7,450 annually to cover tuition and fees at an eligible West Virginia institution. The application for PROMISE closed on March 1.

For more information on the Higher Education Grant Program, visit the state’s free college-planning resource, the College Foundation of West Virginia, at www.cfwv.com. The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.gov.

The Commission also offers a financial aid hotline – 888-825-5707 – for individual questions and to schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor.