Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today reminded students that May 1 is the deadline to apply for the Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), the state’s need-based financial aid program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required to be considered for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
“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, HEPC 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.”
The West Virginia Higher Education Grant is designed to ensure West Virginia students with financial need are given an opportunity to pursue postsecondary education. This year, HEGP will provide up to $2,700 per year to help eligible students attend approved two-year or four-year colleges.
“The Higher Education Grant is a lifeline for many of our students,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, CTCS Chancellor, said. “Anyone planning to enroll in college within the next 12 months should apply — and that includes older first-time students or adults returning to college to retrain.”
This year, HEPC and CTCS have extended the deadline for HEGP from April 15 to May 1 in response to a technical issue with the federal FAFSA form. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students and parents to electronically access, review and transfer tax information required for the FAFSA. Federal officials are working to correct the issue but estimate the tool will be unavailable until at least next fall.
Like in previous years when the IRS Data Retrieval Tool was not an option, students and parents can estimate their income information on the FAFSA and correct the information later, if necessary, in order to meet financial aid deadlines.
If students or their parents do not have a paper or electronic copy of the necessary tax form available – which for this year is the 2015 tax return – they can access it online at www.irs.gov/transcript. A hard copy can be requested by calling 1-800-908-9946 and a transcript will be delivered to the address on record within 5-10 days.
For help completing the FAFSA or applying for financial aid, West Virginia students and families can call the HEPC and CTCS financial aid office at 888-825-5707 or visit the agencies’ free college-planning website at www.cfwv.com.
Related Twitter feeds: @WVHEPC @WVCTCS @CFWV @FAFSA