West Virginia providing $92 million in college financial aid this academic year
Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today announced that more than 3,500 students who graduated from high school this year have been awarded PROMISE Scholarships, annual awards of up to $4,750 they can use beginning this fall toward tuition and fees at colleges and universities in West Virginia.
Students are receiving award letters in their mailboxes this week. Additional PROMISE Scholarships may be awarded as eligible students are identified through June 2016 ACT and SAT testing scores.
“Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the West Virginia Legislature have demonstrated that investing in the educational development and achievement of our students is a top priority,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “Through the PROMISE Scholarship and other state-level programs, West Virginia ranks among the top states in the nation in providing financial aid for its students. I commend our state’s leaders for working to ensure that a college education is affordable, despite the tough budget conditions we face.”
The PROMISE Scholarship Program has awarded more than $548 million to more than 40,000 West Virginia students from all 55 counties since awards first began in 2002. Since 2010, eligible students have received the block award amount of up to $4,750 or full tuition and fees, whichever is less. The academic criteria for PROMISE have remained the same since 2007.
Research shows that receiving PROMISE increases a student’s likelihood of completing college. In addition, PROMISE graduates stay in the state for their careers at higher rates than overall graduates – with one study finding 80 percent of PROMISE scholars who graduated in 2003-04 working in the state in 2012.
Through the PROMISE Scholarship and other financial aid programs, West Virginia will provide students with approximately $92 million in state funds to offset the costs of attending college or trade and technical schools this year.
The State offers a variety of funds including the West Virginia Higher Education Grant, which this year will provide more than 27,000 students up to $2,700 based on demonstrated financial need. A complete list of state scholarships and grants is available at West Virginia’s free college- and career-planning website, www.cfwv.com.
Although many of the deadlines have passed to apply for state-based financial aid for 2016-17, students may still be eligible to receive federal student aid through programs such as the federal Pell Grant. Any student who is pursuing a trade certificate, a two-year degree, or a four-year degree should apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.
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