West Virginia GEAR UP


News Release: West Virginia students celebrate national initiative that helps them plan for life after high school

‘West Virginia GEAR UP’ assists thousands of West Virginia students with planning for an education or training beyond high school  CHARLESTON, W.Va. – This week, thousands of students in 10 West Virginia counties are celebrating a program that helps them prepare for postsecondary education. GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining […]

Governor's Proclamation

Rising high school juniors to “GEAR UP” for college during annual college prep academy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – This Wednesday, more than 220 rising high school juniors are expected to arrive in Huntington, WV, to participate in a summer academy that gives students a taste of college life. The West Virginia “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs” (GEAR UP) program will host its […]


Statewide “College Decision Day” events to celebrate graduating high school seniors

Statewide “College Decision Day” events to celebrate graduating high school seniors CHARLESTON, W.Va. – High schools all across the state will be recognizing seniors who have chosen to pursue some form of education or training beyond high school. More than 50 schools have registered to participate in the College Foundation of […]


West Virginia students earning higher GPAs, completing first year of college thanks to text messaging service

West Virginia students are earning higher grade point averages, successfully completing first year of college thanks to text messaging service Rural students benefit from college counseling via “Txt 4 Success” initiative CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Like many college juniors, Chelsea Goins is well-versed in juggling responsibilities. Not only is she a […]


West Virginia schools to celebrate statewide College Application and Exploration Week

West Virginia schools to celebrate statewide College Application and Exploration Week More than 350 schools registered to help students explore postsecondary options, careers CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Schools across the state will participate in the College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV’s) College Application and Exploration Week initiative scheduled for November 6 […]


College Foundation of West Virginia sets new goal for completion of federal student aid application

College Foundation of West Virginia sets new goal for completion of federal student aid application CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) announced the statewide goal to have at least 63 percent of high school seniors file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by […]


Higher Education Policy Commission urges students to take ’15 to Finish’

Campaign aims to increase college-completion rates, save students money CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  As colleges across the state kick off the fall semester, officials at the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) are reminding students of the importance of earning at least 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track for […]

Higher education officials are urging college students to complete at least 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track for graduation.  

Smart Student Loan Borrowing

State higher ed officials offer guidance on student loan borrowing

Eight tips for financing higher education CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As students and families across the state are planning their budgets for the fall semester of college, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today issued guidance on making smart choices when it […]


West Virginia ‘GEAR UP’ to host college prep academy at Concord University

ATHENS, W.Va. – On Wednesday, nearly 200 high school sophomores are expected to arrive at Concord University to attend GEAR UP U, a summer academy designed to give students the opportunity to experience life on a college campus. The event, which runs this Wednesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 17, is sponsored by […]


Report: More Mountain State students pursuing higher education

Braxton, Doddridge and Clay counties lead the way in improving college-going rates Charleston, W.Va. – More West Virginia high school graduates went on to pursue higher education last year, according to a report released today by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and West Virginia Community and Technical […]


May 1 deadline approaching for West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program applications

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), […]


High schools across West Virginia to participate in ‘College Decision Day’ events

Schools to celebrate students’ commitment to pursuing higher education CHARLESTON, W.Va. – High schools across West Virginia are hosting celebrations to honor seniors who plan to enroll in college or training programs after graduation. More than 40 schools will participate in the College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV)’s fourth annual […]

Mingo Central High School College Decision Day 2016

West Virginia ‘GEAR UP’ to host Career Academy

More than 1,000 students expected to attend event featuring U.S. Senators, industry leaders, STEM celebrities CHARLESTON, W.VA. — More than 1,000 ninth graders are visiting Charleston this week to explore career fields and gain insight from business and industry leaders. The West Virginia GEAR UP Career Academy, happening Thursday, April 13, at […]


State extends application deadline for Higher Education Grant Program until May 1

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today announced that this year’s application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), […]


West Virginia GEAR UP launches Student Success Society in area high schools

New program to promote student involvement in school and the community   CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Brenda Smith, a counselor at Westside High School in Wyoming County, has been working with students for more than 30 years. Her experience has taught her that when students feel like they are part of […]


The Chronicle of Higher Education: Ikie’s College Dream

How grit, determination, and community support helped one West Virginia student in a dying town that is struggling to come to terms with a coal bust and opioid addiction By Julia Schmalz See the full-size video here The empty coal train creaking its way through Madison, W.Va., captured the attention […]

James Ikie Brooks

2016 WV Higher Education Report Card

Higher ed ‘Report Card’: State colleges retaining, graduating more students

Statewide initiatives generating results despite budget challenges CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s state colleges and universities are retaining more students and have generated record numbers of graduates in recent years, thanks to statewide efforts to improve student success. However, continued positive results could be hindered by budget challenges and increased […]


MetroNews: New FAFSA goal set for West Virginia high school seniors

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — By April 15, those with the College Foundation of West Virginia want to see the number of 12th graders in the Mountain State completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, climb to 60 percent. “We know that the jobs of the state of West […]


Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Pictured (left to right): Dr. Adam S. Green, West Virginia GEAR UP; Dr. Paul L. Hill, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Dr. Amelia Courts, The Education Alliance; James “Ikie” Brooks, Marshall University (student); Lesia Sammons, Mingo County Schools; John Perdue, State Treasurer; Christy Scott, West Virginia Bankers Association; Gina Joynes, State Treasurer’s Office; and Vanessa Keadle, West Virginia GEAR UP.

Education leaders launch new “Make Cents WV” partnership to tackle financial literacy

Charleston, W.Va. – Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Earlier today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and The Education Alliance unveiled a new initiative, “Make Cents WV,” to provide financial literacy tools and resources to students, families and educators.  The […]


College Foundation of West Virginia sets goal to increase FAFSA completion rates to 60 percent

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) today announced a goal to increase the number of 12th graders who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or “FAFSA,” to 60 percent by April 15. Students planning to attend college during the 2017-18 academic year can complete […]

Class of 2017 FAFSA Completion Rates by WV County

W.Va. sees gains in college freshmen enrollment

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The number of students entering a four-year college is on the rise in West Virginia, according to information reported during a meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission held earlier today. State officials said the number of freshmen on West Virginia’s public four-year college […]


Governor Tomblin: College Application and Exploration Week: West Virginians explore postsecondary options

(November 4, 2016) – Today marks the close of West Virginia’s seventh annual “College Application and Exploration Week,” a statewide initiative to help our students evaluate their options to pursue higher education. Students at nearly 450 schools across the state, from preschools to adult learning centers, participated in events that allowed […]


Governor Tomblin proclaims “College Application and Exploration Week”

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (October 31, 2016) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proclaimed this week as “College Application and Exploration Week” in recognition of the statewide campaign organized by the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV). Staff from nearly 450 schools will host college-planning activities throughout the week to help students […]


Gazette-Mail: Mascots dance off during college-going event

More than 1,500 ninth grade students participating in the West Virginia GEAR UP program packed into the Clay Center for the Arts for the student leadership academy. The program is a college readiness project coordinated by the state Higher Education Policy Commission and funded by the federal government. It serves […]