In the focal area of access, objectives in three categories – enrollment, collaborative access, and financial aid – contribute to the goal of increasing access to postsecondary education for both traditional and non-traditional aged West Virginians. System-wide objectives include:
- Increasing enrollment overall and in target populations, including low-income students, underrepresented minority students, and adult learners; and increasing the college-going rate of recent high school graduates.
- Developing comprehensive, collaborative access efforts and reporting on the success and outcomes of these efforts.
- Developing comprehensive financial aid plans that guide institutional financial aid allocation, administration, and outreach with reports on successes and outcomes.
On this page:
Summary of Institutional Enrollment Strategies
Summary of Institutional Collaborative Access Plans
Summary of Institutional Financial Aid Plans
Summary of Institutional Enrollment Strategies
Bluefield State College: The institution will develop a survey to identify metropolitan areas with diverse populations where articulation agreements can be forged in support of new academic cohort programs. Implementation will involve developing partnerships with community colleges and other organizations.
Concord University: A comprehensive customer relationship management and communication plan will be developed to strategically target first-time freshmen from in-state and out-of-state markets that will result in a higher enrollment at Concord University. The Office of Admissions will target prospective students from West Virginia and select out-of-state markets.As part of Concord’s comprehensive customer relationship management and communication plan, the University will strategically target first-time freshmen from international student markets. Staff from the University Admissions Office will attend international college fairs, in combination with school visits to recruit international students.Concord is currently seeking North Central Higher Learning Commission (HLC) full approval to offer complete programs in Beckley at the Erma C. Byrd Higher Education Center (HEC). By expanding academic offerings in Beckley, the institution will provide greater postsecondary opportunities for students in the region and will increase enrollment at the site. It will also provide the region with the “intellectual infrastructure required to create and maintain both an educated citizenry and skilled workforce.”
Fairmont State University: The institution will conduct a review of Appreciative Advising as a strategy to support academic advising. This effort will include both advising efforts based in the Academic Advising Center (which reports to the Provost) and in those efforts provided by faculty and staff within the colleges/schools and academic programs. Implementation of the Appreciative Advising initiative has begun with the creation of a book study group (faculty and advising staff).FSU is also developing Ambassador programs to create a cadre of current students to support recruitment and retention efforts. The institution began design and development of its Ambassadors program in the spring of 2014. Ambassadors interact with: prospective students during individual family visits; group major Exploration Days; and, Campus Visitation Days. Plans are underway for Ambassadors to represent FSU during CFWV-sponsored College Exploration and Application events in P-12 schools in the region, beginning with those schools participating in the FSU Professional Development School Partnership.
Glenville State College: The institution will increase enrollment by improving recruitment outcomes and student retention rates. Student recruitment will focus more on the enrollment of first-time, full-time students. In terms of retention, special attention will be given to retaining students beyond the first-year of college, especially those enrolled in associate degree programs. The College will develop and employ an effective marketing strategy through expanded use of social media and the institution’s emerging radio and TV programming capability.The College will also develop and employ retention initiatives that assist students beyond their first-year of college to persist to graduation. The institution will examine the need for seminars and/or workshops to address the specific needs of transfer students and upper level students in academic difficulty. It will also look at the need for targeted tutoring and performance-based financial assistance.Embedded within the College’s recruitment processes will be activities specifically designed to increase applications from and the admission of out-of-state students. Glenville State will concurrently advance various initiatives to recruit additional international students. It is actively involved in the international student recruitment activities of the Higher Education Policy Commission. The institution is also engaged in an ACE/SUNY collaborative international online learning project (COIL).
Marshall University: Marshall will undertake a complete review, assessment, and revision, as necessary, of the mission, structure, and activities of the Strategic Enrollment Planning Council (SEPC). Review, assessment, and modification of SEPC’s mission, structure, and activities will take into account and incorporate the strategies and activities described in each of the five comprehensive plans. Additionally, the review will incorporate modifications to the University’s Student Recruitment Plan, which constitutes the second activity supporting the Enrollment Strategy. As one of three elements of its Academic Portfolio Review, a central portion of the University’s 20/20 Long-Term Strategic Planning, and under a continuous improvement model, Marshall will review the effectiveness of its current student recruitment plan for domestic students. The purpose of this review is to examine current recruitment activities and make necessary adjustments to the plan in order to: 1) sustain current first-year full-time students enrollment goals and targets; and 2) develop new strategies for maintaining overall headcount and full-time equivalents, given the challenge of a declining demographic of graduating high school seniors.
Potomac State College of West Virginia University: The institution will work to increase enrollment of adult students through marketing and recruitment for the new AAS Technical Studies: General (flex) degree. This activity will target adult students, veterans, and other non-traditional local and online populations. Through prior learning assessment, targeted students will receive credit for a variety of life experiences, certifications, and training. The institution will also develop new academic programs aligned with the needs of society and the state (AA degrees in conjunction with WVU-Morgantown and AAS and BAS degrees specific to PSC).
Shepherd University: The institution’s general focus for its strategy on enrollment is to develop and implement seamless admissions and transfer processes for two targeted populations: transfer students and adult learners. The institution will Increase community and regional awareness of the programs and services offered for adult learners. Efforts include promotion of programs, such as the RBA program, courses with WV Rocks and new curricular offerings in Shepherd’s RBA degree competition program. These efforts will include the establishment of support material in print and on the web for transfer student populations. The institution will establish a transfer student webpage to provide students with a one-stop shopping approach to finding relevant information and services. Shepherd will also identify transfer-specific representatives from Admissions and the Registrar’s office to work directly with transfer-specific advisors. Additionally, the institution will establish a clear catalog of course equivalencies for each articulation agreement with two-year institutions and increase efforts to streamline the admissions process for transfer students, developing equivalencies that ensure maximum credit transfer.
West Liberty University: The institution plans to increase the number of new students by using both internal and external resources in a cross-functional approach to developing new initiatives aimed at increasing overall student population. Faculty will utilize their expertise to enhance the recruitment and retention efforts of enrollment services by developing retention strategies specific to their programs of study. This will include visiting local high schools to meet with students in introductory courses in specific disciplines (i.e., business, health care, and sciences). These visits will focus on career pathways, curriculum, and the opportunities of higher education. Additionally, the institution will implement a customer relations management system (CRM) for admissions and recruitment to track recruiting information and centralize communication.
West Virginia State University: The general focus of West Virginia State University’s Enrollment strategy is to grow headcount enrollment. The University will introduce the Return to Learn initiative, which provides an opportunity to reach out to students who left WVSU before completing a degree and other prospective adult learners. It will also create communication paths for high school sophomores and juniors through increased utilization of customer relationship management solution (CRM/EMAS Pro). EMAS Pro allows the Office of Admissions to create communication paths based on student criteria such as high school class year. Since purchasing EMAS in the summer of 2013, admissions staff have focused on communications with high school juniors and seniors. To enhance transfer student enrollment through focused recruitment efforts, one of the University’s admissions counselors has been assigned to work the majority of his/her time with transfer students. The University is expanding the transfer student recruitment target areas to include metro tuition markets. Existing communications with transfer students will be reviewed including content, timing, and delivery mechanisms with improvements being made, where needed.
West Virginia University: The institution will engage in three activities in support of its Enrollment Strategy. The institution will: 1) create and deliver a more robust and systematic comprehensive communication plan; 2) establish a comprehensive, consistent and organized tele-counseling operation across the campus; and 3) enrich on-campus visitation programs with programming and activities targeted to underrepresented students.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology: WVU Tech will focus on increasing enrollment of adult learners through the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program (RBA). This is a long-range strategy which will be assessed for feasibility annually. If the strategy is found to be feasible, it will be built upon yearly by updating activities for the duration of the HEPC 5-Year Master Plan through the Institutional Compact. In addition, if the strategy has served its purpose, a new strategy will be identified and developed. WVU Tech will develop an RBA Strategic Plan for increasing adult learner enrollment in the RBA program. This plan will address the following areas: marketing, outreach, advising, access, and financial aid. The institution will also develop opportunities to improve access to a college degree for adult learners through the development of online degree programs which service the RBA program. An important component of online degree completion is having a large enough inventory of upper-division online courses available to offer students. To accomplish this end, WVU Tech will seek funding for developing upper-division online courses. This will be an on-going activity. Regardless of funding, WVU Tech will develop five upper-division courses which will be ready for delivery online by Fall 2015.
Summary of Institutional Collaborative Access Plans
Bluefield State College: The focus of Bluefield’s plan is to be a model for Access known for: 1) emphasizing the retention and graduation of all students; 2) attracting a diverse population of students to an affordable education that is student centered, dynamic, innovative, and delivered through a variety of methods; and 3) valuing an equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus community that respects differences among members. This plan incorporates early interventions and a variety of outreach activities with K-12 schools, develops cohort programs, and implements events intended to increase access. The plan articulates strategies aligned with the institution’s mission, and identifies how the institution will assess the success of those strategies to progress toward its goals.Faculty and students will offer presentations to local public school students as well as community groups (e.g., churches, PTOs, etc.). Information regarding Bluefield State College and West Virginia higher education opportunities will be provided during these presentations. The College will also offer on-campus summer programs for K-12 students in academic degree programs offered by the College including those with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and health care. Additionally, the College will explore the expansion of the current offerings of college courses offered at local high schools.In an effort to attract diverse and adult student populations, the institution will develop a survey to identify metropolitan areas with diverse populations where articulation agreements can be forged in support of new academic cohort programs. Implementation will involve developing partnerships with community colleges and other organizations.
Bluefield State College will also create a biannual festival for local high school students and their teachers to provide students with an introduction to the programs and degrees offered. Bluefield State College students and local high school students currently showcase their achievements and demonstrate their knowledge through academic invitational events. These events will continue through 2018. Additional events will be developed, and the College will especially reach out to students interested in STEM and health related fields as well as other academic areas.
Concord University: Concord’s plan focuses on expanding access to post-secondary students and graduate post-secondary markets through early intervention via outreach and online course offerings. In order to increase enrollment in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at Concord, the University recognizes the need to recruit and retain prospective high school students, adult learners, non-traditional students, and graduate post-secondary students. Additionally, Concord plans to partner with area schools to provide enrichment activities that will improve the college readiness of students. Concord’s existing outreach efforts of underrepresented students through the GEAR UP and Upward Bound programs will continue throughout the Compact period, pending funding availability. Particular attention will be given to building stronger relationships at high schools and community colleges in local markets with the focus on increasing enrollment. The admissions office will continue to develop alternate initiatives that will seek higher application and matriculation numbers from out-of-state and international markets.The institution will utilize a variety of advertising strategies, press releases, and announcements to reach prospective students through both print and social media. It will also expand its outreach by increasing the number of online course offerings. As part of this initiative, Concord will provide Quality Matters training for faculty developing online courses to ensure consistency and the same high quality academic courses for which Concord is known.Concord will also work to provide support to prospective students to enable them to successfully make the transition from high school to college. This support will include offering assistance with the application process, providing summer academies and bridge programs, and helping students connect prospective majors to careers and life goals. The institution will also develop a program that enables current students and faculty to return to their former high schools to recruit potential students. Additionally, the institution will identify and engage in activities such as GEAR UP, Upward Bound, WV Business Challenge, summer academies, and ACT Prep, to prepare prospective students for college and help them connect prospective majors to careers and life goals.
Fairmont State University: The proposed activities are the outgrowth of an existing work group at Fairmont State University. The “Campus Collaborative for Recruitment and Retention” (CCRR) met for the first time in November 2013 and continued to meet bi-weekly through May 2014. The committee reviewed the following: 1) existing academic and student services data collection strategies; 2) institutional data collection on recruitment, admissions, and matriculation; and 3) surveys from organizations such as Noel-Levitz and NSSE. The group also analyzed existing student experience continuum data sources (other than matriculation metrics) that provided evidence of the effectiveness of student services and academic activities that occur in the student experience touch points. The committee recommended continuation of use of existing instruments in the short term coupled with long-range development of new instruments, and revision of existing instruments to create greater continuity and coherency in the research process.
Glenville State College: The College is committed to providing access to higher education opportunities for students who are place-bound due to work, family situation, and other limitations. These students may avail themselves of one or more of the educational outreach programs offered by Glenville State. These programs include early entrance (dual credit) courses offered on the campus of area high schools, an associate degree program offered at the federal correction facility in Gilmer County (FCI-Gilmer), two-year and four-year degree programs offered online to corrections officers, and courses for adult learners offered at the Braxton County Center. The College plans to expand the array of these programs and the number of students served in the years ahead.The College will continue to work with area high schools to better prepare their graduates for college life. The College will also continue to actively recruit additional school districts and grade 8-12 participants to the Hidden Promise Scholars Program. It will additionally seek new ways to support the aspirations of these students to attend college. In this regard, the institution will undertake a campaign to fund additional scholarships for program participants who select to attend Glenville State College.Additionally, the College will continue to offer on high school campuses informational sessions and activities designed to assist these students with the college application process, requests for financial assistance, completion of housing applications, registration procedures, and course selection. Moreover, the College will provide these students with the opportunity to visit the Glenville State campus and sample college life.
The College will seek to further diversify the array and number of courses offered at area high schools through its early entrance program.
In collaboration with the JASON Project, the College offers instructional workshops and course materials to enrich the teaching of science in the public schools of central West Virginia. More than 100 area teachers have participated in the JASON Project to date. The intent of the JASON Project to better prepare area students for college in general as well as to increase the number of students interested in pursuing a college degree in the sciences.
Glenville State College will strive to increase the scope of its offerings for adult learners through collaboration with private businesses and county, state, and federal agencies. The College has offered courses leading to an associate degree at FCI-Gilmer for a number of years. The College will explore the option of offering additional courses at this facility leading to the completion of a four-year degree.
The College has offered an online two-year degree program in criminal justice for employees of various state corrections agencies for a number of years. Some of these students have recently completed a four-year degree in criminal justice. The institution will explore the viability of offering other four-year degree options for this audience.
The current course offerings at the Braxton County Center are limited and do not provide a pathway to a two-year degree let alone a four-year degree. The College will undertake a study of the feasibility of offering one or more degree programs through expanded course offerings at the Braxton County Center.
Marshall University: The institution will employ institution-specific research to identify interventions that will have the greatest effect within the institution. The key objectives are: 1) to improve retention and graduation rates by implementing identified initiatives that have been shaped by close analysis of institution-specific data; and 2) to tailor these initiatives to subpopulations that currently receive few dedicated academic or student services on campus yet are retained at significantly lower rates than the institutional average.The institution will work to intervene with at-risk students before they matriculate: during summer orientation, the Summer Bridge program, and during the Week of Welcome in UNI 100 sessions. Each college will develop an alternate 4-Year Plan for students in the Murky Middle. These students have a higher failure rate in certain key general education courses, which affects the number of hours they ultimately earn in the first term. Additionally, students in the Murky Middle will start UNI 100 equipped with a customized Fall course schedule (17-18 credit hours, fewer courses with high DFW rate). Before these students have an opportunity to add or drop courses during the first week of class, UNI 100 will guide them through important aspects of the 15 to Finish curriculum.
Potomac State College of West Virginia University: With the addition of revitalized and new programs offered by PSC, it is incumbent upon the College to aggressively market these to traditional and non-traditional students. An adult learner needs assessment is being conducted to determine how PSC may more effectively serve this diverse population. The AAS in Technical Studies (General) developed this year is an attractive option for many adult students.The institution plans to incorporate practices to improve access and retention through early intervention/educating students on benefits of attending college and by committing resources and personnel to develop a process to improve access and success of adult students. It also plans to offer affordable academic programs that deliver the skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing society by reviewing and updating curriculum within existing programs and developing and offering new programs.Additionally, PSC will provide campus tours and classroom demonstrations for elementary, middle, and high school students, and will host science and math fairs for secondary students. The goal of these activities is to create a connection with potential students and expose them to the opportunities available at Potomac State.
The institution will also develop flexible AAS and BAS in Technical Studies degree completion programs, an online +2 option for the BAS in Criminal Justice, a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process, and a new online program development process. Additionally, PSC will complete an adult learner needs assessment and will seek to obtain grant money to hire two adult students to work as project managers to develop surveys and obtain student feedback.
Shepherd University: The focus of Shepherd’s plan is to provide enhanced access to educational opportunities across diverse populations. In the P-12 system, the institution will enhance awareness and prepare prospective students on how to navigate the pathways to higher education at Shepherd University. It will also enhance the existing Unpacking the College Experience program to include faculty participation. This would require a faculty member to visit the schools with an admissions counselor.Shepherd will host additional College in Six (6th Graders) groups on campus with the help of Student Affairs and faculty members. Staff will also attend local middle and high school career and college events. This requires faculty and staff to contact local middle and high schools to inform them of Shepherd University’s interest to participate in their career and college fair events.Other activities include: 1) increasing community and regional awareness of the programs and services offered for adult learners at Shepherd University; implementing WV Rocks with a signed MOU and offer minimum of 3-4 courses per term; 3) increasing the areas of concentration, with a minimum of two areas of emphasis in the Regents of Bachelor of Arts program; and 4) participating in business partnerships by identifying opportunities to network and support local education initiatives.
West Liberty University: The focus of West Liberty’s plan is to enhance efforts to provide access by intensive collaboration between the Division of Enrollment Services and the Division of Academic Affairs. The Division of Enrollment Services is integrating Academic Affairs into enrollment outreach planning and initiatives. A number of initiatives are identified in which Academic Affairs and Enrollment Services will collaborate. A main objective is to create activities and occasions to inform prospective students of the benefits of higher education and of the unique opportunities provided by West Liberty University.The strategies focus on faculty collaboration during the early phases of the recruitment process, and an increased effort to disseminate information to prospective students and their families. The Admissions Office will supply a weekly updated list of prospective students to the faculty of the newly formed College Recruiting & Retention Teams. These dedicated faculty will contact and personally interact with prospective students.WLU is expanding the number of high schools served through financial aid seminars as well as expanding the presentation content to include the benefits of higher education, salary potential, and careers in higher education. All schools located within a 50-60 mile radius of the campus are contacted for their interest in a WLU financial aid seminar presentation for prospective students and their families.
WLU has implemented a new data reporting tool (APEX). College deans, department chairs and selected faculty will be provided training so that they will be better able to quickly and efficiently generate information on student prospects.
A goal of the Enrollment Planning Committee is to improve and increase communication with prospective students and their parents and better inform them of available higher education opportunities. Thank you notes will be sent to the families of prospective students who have visited the campus. The Director of Financial Aid will also send a letter as a follow up to the thank you note that describes the net price calculator and available scholarship opportunities.
The institution has contracted with CAPEX to identify students interested in WLU. The Director of Financial Aid also emails these students regarding the net price calculator and available scholarships. These communications are in addition to those regularly sent through the Admissions Office.
West Virginia State University: WVSU plans to increase the number of high school students who study for college credit through innovative programs at WVSU, some of which offer an opportunity to obtain a year of college credit prior to completing high school. The institution will collaborate with school districts to establish a partnership with the high schools in order to develop 1+3 programs through which high school juniors and seniors will be enrolled in a degree program of their choice and take college courses from WVSU toward their chosen degree program. Students who complete the first step of the program are given the opportunity to finish their degree in three years at WVSU.The institution also plans to increase the number of seats available in college classes offered to junior and senior level high school students enrolled in its Upward Bound programs. WVSU will look to increase other class offerings as the program progresses. The University will also work with representatives from the Kanawha County School system to increase the enrollment of the current Collaborative Program from 70 to 100 students.WVSU will work to enhance the prospective student communication flow designed to convert inquiries into applicants and applicants into enrolled students by incorporating personalized messaging targeted at specific student populations (honors students, transfer students, and early high school) using a systematic approach that includes varied communication methods (direct mail, email, telephone calls, text messaging, and in-person) resulting in enrollment growth. The University will also enhance, in number and content, existing prospective freshman and transfer communication flow by adding specific academic messaging and/or honors messaging. These messages will highlight academic majors, special programming such as honors, research rookies, and the work of academic organizations such as the WVSU Chapter of the American Chemical Society.
The institution plans to increase the engagement of alumni volunteers in recruitment efforts, and has established a Retention and Student Success Council. The creation of a formal retention plan is underway. The plan will outline activities that will be implemented to support increased first-to-second year retention, overall retention, and degree attainment.
West Virginia University: WVU’s plan focuses on three main strategies: 1) adult access; 2) youth (for credit); and 3) youth (co-curricular).The institution will work to attract new student veterans, service members, and dependents. Through the Yellow Ribbon program and campus initiatives, WVU is committed to making the transition from military to academic life as easy as possible. WVU representatives will speak at monthly National Guard training meetings. They will also work with health providers at Veteran’s Administration medical centers in order to develop relationships and explore ways to share information with the veterans they serve. WVU also plans to partner with Veterans Upward Bound in order to assist and motivate veterans in their academic and other prerequisite skills necessary for acceptance to the university. The institution will communicate on a yearly basis with members of the West Virginia State Senate Military Committee to keep them informed on the progress toward implementation of outreach efforts.West Virginia University Academic Innovation will offer high school students the opportunity to earn college credit through the ACCESS (Attaining College Credits and Experiences while in Secondary School) program. This program will give motivated and highly achieving high school students an opportunity to take college courses online anywhere they have access to high-speed internet. Additionally, some courses will continue to be offered face-to-face at current high school site-bases. At the high school site-bases, local teachers will continue to act as college course facilitators to ensure student success.
WVU will also create new co-curricular opportunities, and provide continued support for existing opportunities, on-campus and across the state for school-age students to access the expertise of WVU faculty and to develop a familiarity and comfort level with the University as a potential destination. Existing camps and programs across campus include: Engineering Challenge Camps, Governor’s School for Math and Science, Health Sciences and Technology, Health Careers Opportunity Program, and Upward Bound/TRIO. The institution plans to support these and future activities through information sharing, coordination with Admissions, collaboration across programs to reduce cost, coordinating with Academic Innovation and Admissions to maximize awareness about programs among target populations, and leveraging successful models to develop new programs that improve accessibility for underserved populations.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology: The focus of WVU Tech’s plan is on academic preparation and promotion of college readiness. The objective of the comprehensive plan is two-fold: 1) provide academic preparation and promotion of college readiness through the dual-enrollment program, and 2) provide opportunities for West Virginia middle and high school students to experience academic and student college life on the West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) campus. Dual-enrollment is a pathway to access and college readiness by providing high school students with the opportunity to take college level courses both in-seat in their high schools and online. These courses apply directly to WVU Tech college transcripts.WVU Tech on-campus opportunities for middle and high school students to experience academic and student college life will help the students and parents become aware of possible career paths and the fields of studies necessary for entry into various careers. In addition, these experiences have the potential of helping guide students and parents with the selection of middle and high school classes which will be the most helpful for college admissions into the student’s desired field of study. Consistent tracking and follow-up of the participating middle and high school students by the Office of Enrollment and Admissions and the Financial Aid Office, will assist with recruitment as well as provide an opening for the Financial Aid Office to educate parents on matters of college funding.A strategic plan will be developed to guide the development and expansion of the Dual-Enrollment Program. Additionally, an Orientation Program for the online dual-enrollment courses will be developed to support the students in their online learning efforts. One of the goals of the Orientation Program is help incorporate students into the WVU Tech campus, which will help with the retention of students.
Summary of Institutional Financial Aid Plans
Bluefield State College: The focus is for Bluefield State to be a model for Access known for: 1) emphasizing the retention and graduation of all students; and 2) attracting a diverse population of students to an affordable education that is student centered, dynamic, innovative, and delivered through a variety of methods.Bluefield State College’s Financial Aid Comprehensive Plan stresses the streamlining of financial aid processes and procedures and the provision of financial literacy throughout a student’s relationship with the institution – pre-enrollment, enrollment, and post-enrollment. Institutional processes and procedures specific to financial aid allocation and administration including scholarship receipt and disbursement will be examined and modified to ensure quality, efficiency and effectiveness.Prior to enrollment the institution will promote planning for college, with a focus on financial aid planning, within local high schools. After students are accepted to the College, they will receive a redesigned award letter that explains current grants, loans, scholarships and out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the projected cost of attendance over a four-year period. The letter will also emphasize the 15 to Finish initiative.
Once enrolled, students will be introduced to information and instruction concerning personal finance. As part of the financial literacy initiative, students will learn about managing their credit and the impact college debt can have on their long-term personal and professional plans. Beyond freshmen, all students on-campus will be exposed to an on-going financial literacy campaign which will encourage students to enroll in free personal finance training.
With assistance from Inceptia and institutional research, Bluefield State College will identify students who are at risk for student loan default and begin immediate interventions, ensuring that these students receive the proper counseling needed to avoid default and other adverse academic and financial consequences. After graduation, or when a student has left the institution, Inceptia will contact and counsel students who have entered into their grace period, have become delinquent, or have gone into default in loan repayment.
Concord University: The institution will implement several activities and use a variety of media to communicate the importance of early FAFSA completion, including offering annual FAFSA workshops for high school counselors, participating in the state-wide annual College Goal Sunday, promoting FAFSA completion with enrolled students via a comprehensive FAFSA campaign (FASFA t-shirts, yard signs, media blasts, etc.), and mailing postcard reminders to admitted students for whom a FAFSA is incomplete or missing.Concord will also provide multiple opportunities for the distribution of financial aid information to prospective and continuing students, including participation in West Virginia’s week-long college application and exploration event, maintaining a presence at college fairs, conducting high school visits, distributing Financial Aid 101 booklets to continuing students, and hosting open houses, campus visits, and receptions for admitted students. Financial aid staff will also participate in workshops conducted in local high schools through the Upward Bound and GEAR UP programs. The University will provide each student with a letter listing institutional financial aid as part of an accepted student’s admission packet.The University will promote responsible borrowing, debt education and repayment obligations with all students through the development and implementation of a revised financial aid award letter that incorporates several concepts from the federal Shopping Sheet. The University will also promote an understanding of financial aid borrowing and debt education through a module incorporated in UNIV 100. Finally, the University will provide individual debt education/counseling to students above and beyond the loan entrance and exit counseling required by the United States Department of Education (USDOE).
Additionally, the University will develop and implement a financial literacy module in the UNIV 100 course that will emphasize student loan debt and debt education. Administrators and faculty will review the module to ensure that adequate emphasis is placed on borrowing and student loan debt. Student Support Services will also work with their program students to deliver financial literacy education.
Fairmont State University: Adequate financial aid for students is recognized as a key component in allowing students to select an institution based upon academic fit and to be successful at their chosen schools. Fairmont State University seeks to develop a plan that can be articulated in a manner that allows all areas of campus to work together to insure that to the extent possible, qualified students are able to attend FSU. Financial aid packaging policies need to strategize the awarding of scholarships, grants, loans and employment opportunities for both potential and returning students in an effort to maximize success, regardless of economic background.Early awareness is very beneficial in allowing students and families the ability to make informed decisions about college options. Fairmont State University will work to develop partnerships with high schools and junior high schools in order to ensure that students have a level of awareness about the costs of attending higher education and information about the various forms of assistance available to them. Outreach to local civic and social organizations will be done in order to talk with adults who might be interested in beginning/returning pursuit of degree or who have children interested in attending.The process of identifying financial need and providing available support to Fairmont State University students involves leadership and staff in Student Services and at the FSU Foundation. This strategy focuses on enhancing the process of providing data to the FSU Foundation that indicates the likelihood of a viable pool of applicants for potential donor-based scholarships. The process includes targeted efforts to encourage general scholarship donations which can be pooled to allow for larger scholarship amounts, increasing the institution’s ability to broaden its financial support. Student Services and the Foundation will work with academic colleges and schools to encourage earlier selection (i.e., calendar date) of recipients for scholarships aligned with academic majors and programs of study. This work will also include efforts to provide timely feedback to colleges and schools on those scholarship offers which are not accepted by students in an expedient manner, so that funds can be re-awarded. Finally, efforts will be made to enhance the efficiency and timeliness with which Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) funds are packaged in awards sent to students.
Glenville State College: The institution will strive to better align the awarding of funded and unfunded scholarships and work-study and work-ship funds to the recruitment of students with the potential to make notable contributions to campus life in terms of diversity, academic performance, and co-curricular experiences.The College will advance its plans to implement scholarship programs designed to assist in-state and out-of-state students to attend Glenville State. Additional scholarships are being offered to in-state students who have been selected to participate in the Hidden Promise Scholars Program.The coordinator of the College’s recently established Honors Program (Jonathan Minton) will work with admissions to identify and recruit qualified students to the program and with the director of the GSC Foundation (Denny Pounds) to fund Honors Program scholarships. The College will increase the enrollment in its Honors Program by ten students per year up to the current cap of 40 honor students. This initiative includes providing the academic opportunities and financial assistance necessary to recruit high performing students to the College.
The College will support the enrichment of campus life by actively supporting the recruitment of students with talents that have the potential of enriching the cultural life of the campus. Additional scholarships will initially be offered in the fine arts, then to students with media experience, and then to students with other special talents.
The College will support the efforts of the GSC Foundation to develop scholarships in accordance with the institution’s recruitment goals and its commitment to diversity. The College, in collaboration with the GSC Foundation, will develop the partly- and fully-funded scholarships needed to enroll additional students from diverse backgrounds.
Marshall University: This strategy involves a number of activities designed to strengthen students’ and families’ financial aid awareness and understanding of the financial aid application process, types of financial aid available, cost to attend college, and steps to be taken to ensure timely delivery of financial aid. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will conduct Financial Aid Training (sponsored by the College Board) for High School Counselors in the Charleston area providing an overview of the Financial Aid Application Process.Marshall will evaluate the effectiveness (e.g., transparency of costs, students/parents understanding of the next steps in the enrollment and financial aid process) of its newly-designed financial aid award letter and, based on the results of the assessment, will be revise and enhance its 2015-16 letter. The institution will also develop a plan tying the use of social media and e-marketing/communications to the goals of the Office of Student Financial Assistance.With assistance from Noel-Levitz, a higher education consulting firm, Marshall will formulate and implement financial aid awarding and packaging strategies to support new student enrollment and revenue goals. The institution will also explore strategies to reduce its student loan default rate by analyzing who borrows and who defaults to uncover the unique characteristics and behaviors of the student borrower population. Additionally, Marshall will perform outreach to Federal Direct Loan borrowers who are delinquent in repaying their loans to prevent default.
Potomac State College of West Virginia University: Although the default rate has increased, the current Federal Student Loan Cohort Default Rate of students from Potomac State College (and WVU) is below the system target of 9%. The institution’s Comprehensive Financial Aid Plan will ensure that PSC remains below the system target. However, the changing financial climate for the region and the nation could adversely affect loan default rates. The amount of funds generated from grants and contracts at Potomac State is modest. The College needs to develop viable programs to enhance recruitment and retention of students to graduation. These efforts could over-extend the human resources of the College allowing less time for research grants and contracts.The institution plans to work with current and potential students to increase awareness of financial aid availability and requirements, and plans an expansion of its participation in College-Goal Sunday and FAFSA workshops. Potomac State also plans to work to increase the rate of completion and timely submission of student FAFSA. Additionally, the institution will cultivate new sources of institutional scholarships to students.
Shepherd University: In an effort to maintain and eventually reduce the university’s three-year Federal Student Loan Cohort Default rate, Shepherd’s strategy focuses on issues of financial literacy through class offering and course content, as well as awareness through loan counseling.The institution will conduct financial literacy courses as part of the First-Year Experience Program. Financial Literacy topics will also be presented in already existing, program-specific freshmen seminars, such as BIOL 150, EDUC 150, MUSC 100, etc., and will also be a component of the required class for provisionally admitted students. Students will be assessed on their competencies by completing pre- and post-tests for each course or session.Financial literacy will also be taught as standalone, one-credit hour courses, meeting once a week starting in the spring 2015 semester and would be ongoing through the Compact cycle. As a part of course content for the general student population and provisionally-admitted students, this aspect of the activity would begin in fall 2015.
Financial aid counseling is also a key component of Shepherd’s strategy. It will conduct loan counseling for graduating seniors and graduate students with student loan debt each spring semester, and will encourage students to complete financial awareness counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
West Liberty University: The institution will promote financial planning for college within local high schools. It will also work to educate students about financial aid during Open House days and summer orientation. When students are accepted, they will receive an updated award letter that explains available grants, loans and scholarships. Once enrolled at WLU students will receive information concerning personal finance, budgeting, and financial aid as part of the First Year Experience course. Students will also be encouraged to take a financial literacy course taught by a professor from the College of Business.Before graduating or withdrawing from the institution, students will have the opportunity for a one-on-one counseling session with a financial aid counselor, the Dean of Students or the Director of Financial Aid. This will insure they understand their financial requirements and obligations after leaving WLU. Graduating seniors will also have the opportunity to meet with a financial aid representative at the Graduation Fair, an event offered near the end of each semester.
West Virginia State University: The focus of this plan is to support student recruitment and retention by increasing and enhancing the information regarding financial assistance provided to: 1) prospective and current students and their families; 2) faculty and staff so they are aware of the information provided to students and their families, the implications of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and the relationship between financial aid policy and decisions students make regarding course withdrawal, change in majors, borrowing, etc.The institution will create a master spreadsheet of all standard messages sent to students. The spreadsheet will include key characteristics of the communication such as trigger, purpose, timing, and volume and summary of the content of each communication. It will also create a directory of all print materials distributed to students, and a new financial aid brochure for prospective students.Additionally, the institution will explore best practices for University financial aid websites and will implement practices that further enhance its ability to provide timely, accurate, and necessary information to students and families. Staff from the Student Financial Assistance office will offer a Lunch n’ Learn program designed to educate faculty and staff about financial aid.
WVSU will offer financial aid information and promote timely completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through a variety of outreach efforts. To assist students and their families, “FAFSA Wednesday” is a special help session held at Student Financial Assistance each Wednesday during the spring semester. Staff will assist students and families to complete the FAFSA early and accurately. Financial aid information tables will be set up in the residence halls just after mid-terms. In addition to the information tables, residential students will be encouraged to participate in a workshop offered through the Student Success Series (workshops offered throughout the year to promote various programs and services that support student success), which will assist students in learning about financial aid and the impact of their academic choices.
The University will serve as a host site for College Goal Sunday, which provides an opportunity for students and families to obtain free help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Local financial aid professionals will offer one-on-one, confidential support. Additionally, the University will generate interest in FAFSA completion by offering a variety of fun activities throughout the month of February 2015 to acknowledge Financial Aid Awareness Month.
The institution’s Student Financial Assistance office is creating a short survey card for students to complete after their visit to the office. The goal is to gain a better understanding of what the student learned following their counseling session. The survey feedback will also indicate potential areas of improvement. A tracking mechanism of student inquiries is also being developed to allow the institution to assess the volume of activity and the reasons for inquiries. Ultimately, this information will be used to drive outreach and messaging.
West Virginia University: The institution’s financial aid resources are deployed in a systematic, fair and equitable manner to assist students in achieving the goal of obtaining a degree. To achieve this objective, West Virginia University will implement three strategies during the compact period: 1) utilize endowed and annual gift funds to the fullest extent possible within donor guidelines; 2) combine Student Employment Office with Federal Work Study Office to streamline operations and provide students with a broader array of work opportunities both on and off campus; and 3) develop and present a more cohesive scholarship and financial aid award notification to prospective students earlier in the admissions cycle.Various funds within the WVU Foundation are difficult to award due to limiting selection criteria. To address this issue, the institution will conduct a review of WVU Foundation funds that have not been awarded in the last five years to determine if awarding criteria is limiting usage and explore opportunities for changing the criteria where appropriate. An internal review of institutional scholarship and need-based grants will take place to understand the relationship between these awards and student success.WVU also plans to combine its Student Employment and Federal Work Study offices to streamline operations and provide students with a broader array of work opportunities both on and off campus. This initiative will involve collaboration with administrative and academic units to develop meaningful work opportunities that will contribute to student success and provide work experience in a field related to the student’s program of study to the extent possible. It will also require the development and delivery of specialized training for employees who supervise student workers.
This activity involves collaboration with administrative and academic units to develop meaningful work opportunities for students. These opportunities will contribute to student success and provide work experience in a field related to the student’s program of study to the extent possible. The collaboration will help to identify and target specific skills to be obtained, developed or enhanced through their work opportunities for students.
In an effort to develop and present a more cohesive scholarship and financial aid award notification to prospective students earlier in the admissions cycle, WVU plans to combine scholarship offers from central University sources with those from academic colleges to alleviate confusion and provide students with a better understanding of scholarship funding available from the University. It will also work to deploy a more robust net price calculator and utilize the tool to provide prospective students with a clearer understanding of all financial resources available prior to receiving official financial aid award notification.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology: WVU Tech Financial Aid Office (FAO) currently has informal initiatives which address information on current collaborative activities, intrusive actions such as contacting students by phone with FAFSA application errors and resolving those errors immediately, and assisting students with required financial aid actions. The objective of this comprehensive plan is to formalize these initiatives into a long-range strategic plan and develop assessment activities which inform best practices for the FAO.WVU Tech will continue to keep current on federal policies and regulations which address student financial aid issues. These federal policies and regulations will inform the activities identified below. The institution will also develop a long-range strategic plan which will be used to inform best practices. An essential part of determining best practices is measuring the effectiveness and impact of financial aid actions. The institution will therefore work to identify which financial aid actions are currently being used and will develop assessment instruments to determine their effectiveness.Using an online survey, the WVU Tech Financial Aid Office will contact new freshmen, transfer students, and Regents of Bachelors of Arts (RBA) students to discover which financial aid services and practices influenced their decisions to come to WVU Tech. Part of this activity will be to review the current online survey for potential redesign and to implement improvements where identified.
Additionally, WVU Tech Financial Aid Office in collaboration with WVU Tech University Relations will develop an online survey which will be offered to parents and/or prospective students who come in for an advising session with financial aid personnel. This online survey, when deployed and implemented, will inform the Financial Aid Office on best practices.