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Jessica Tice
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jessica.tice@wvhepc.edu

Higher Education Policy Commission honors outgoing chair, approves temporary changes for Promise Scholarship and Higher Education Grant

June 11, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today honored Huntington attorney Michael J. Farrell, Esq., who has served as the Commission’s chairman for the past four years. Andrew “Drew” Payne III, who has worked in the financial industry for more than 30 years, will succeed Farrell, who will now serve as vice chair. Diana Lewis Jackson, the founder, president and CEO of Action Facilities Management in Morgantown, will continue serving as secretary. “Chairman Farrell is a true champion for our higher education system and students, advocating steadily for West Virginians to have affordable access to public postsecondary…

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This Saturday: College Bound Saturday events offering free financial aid support for West Virginia students at sites statewide

June 8, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – This Saturday, West Virginia students in the high school graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 can receive help navigating the college-planning process during the state’s first-ever “College Bound Saturday” at sites statewide. At these free workshops, students can learn more about state and federal financial aid programs, as well as get direct help filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the first step to unlocking funds for college. College Bound Saturday events will be held at the following locations on June 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the following locations across…

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West Virginia extends grant deadline, ramps up FAFSA outreach in effort to increase college-going rate among high school graduates

April 30, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – In its regular meeting today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission voted to extend the deadline for students applying for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant – the state’s primary need-based financial aid program – to July 1, 2021. This extension comes as West Virginia reports a 2.3 percentage point drop in the state’s college-going rate from 2019 to 2020, with 48.2 percent of last year’s public high school seniors enrolling in college in the summer or fall after graduation. “In close collaboration with the Department of Education, we’ve been working to get West Virginia’s high…

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West Virginia Nursing Scholarship application opens April 15 for 2021-22 academic year

April 14, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, which provides awards to Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), Registered Nursing (RN), graduate and LPN teaching certificate students in exchange for service in West Virginia, begins accepting applications on April 15 for the 2021-22 academic year. The program is administered by the West Virginia Center for Nursing in conjunction with the Higher Education Policy Commission. “Building up our state’s nursing workforce is one of the best ways we can support our nurses working every day, right now, on the front lines to care for those in our communities. And it’s one of…

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West Virginia Center for Nursing accepting proposals for summer nursing academies until May 1

April 8, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Center for Nursing is accepting applications for its Nursing Academy Grant Program, which was created to encourage young people to consider careers in nursing. Nursing academies are held by healthcare organizations and schools of nursing across the state in the summer months. Most academies are held for three to seven days, allowing middle- and high-school students to learn about nursing careers through hands-on activities and shadowing experiences. “The Center is proud to continue its grant program for these nursing academies,” said Gerald Bragg, chair of the Center’s Board of Directors. “This program encourages young…

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More than 1,000 health professional students from colleges and universities across West Virginia on track to help with vaccine rollout

April 2, 2021

Photo 1 link: Mary Jane Braham and Kara Howard, West Virginia University pharmacy students; Photo 2 link: Claire Miller, Marshall University nursing student CHARLESTON, WV – To assist West Virginia’s full-court-press COVID-19 vaccine rollout, more than 1,000 health professional students from colleges and universities across the state have volunteered to administer vaccines in coordination with local health departments and community health partners. This is thanks to a new initiative – the West Virginia Vaccine Administration, Collaboration, and Support (WV VACS) Team – resulting from a partnership among the National Guard, Department of Health and Human Resources, and Higher Education Policy…

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First2 Network announces summer research experiences to benefit first-generation and underrepresented college freshmen in West Virginia

March 18, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – Incoming college freshmen in West Virginia majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields can gain hands-on research experience and faculty mentoring this summer.  From June through August, First2 Network (First2) – a federal initiative within the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission – will offer immersive research experiences at eight partner sites including Green Bank Observatory, High Rocks Educational Corporation, Marshall University, University of Charleston, West Virginia University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and West Virginia State University. Underrepresented students are the focus of this initiative, with an emphasis…

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Deadline for West Virginia high school seniors to apply for Promise Scholarship extended until July 1

March 11, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – In a special meeting today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission voted to extend the deadline for current high school seniors to apply for the Promise Scholarship until July 1, 2021. Because of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the merit-based scholarship were down 27 percent as of the original March 1 deadline compared to the same time last year, prompting Governor Jim Justice to call for an extended deadline. While the Promise application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are due by July 1, students have until the end of August…

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West Virginia Center for Nursing releases 2020 data as part of efforts to strengthen state’s nursing workforce

March 4, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Center for Nursing has released Registered Nurse (RN) and Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse (APRN) supply data for 2020. This information will allow the state to assess the strength of West Virginia’s nursing workforce and inform stakeholders as they continue planning around nursing workforce development.  “The Center aggregates these data on a yearly basis and has developed a consistent timeline for its collection and dissemination that will be used going forward,” says Gerald Bragg, chair of the West Virginia Center for Nursing Board of Directors. “This information provides the public and stakeholders with vital information…

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West Virginia’s 18th Undergraduate Research Day to feature over 70 virtual student presentations this Friday

March 3, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – College students from across West Virginia will present their research projects during Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol (URDC) this Friday, March 5. The event, which is typically held at the West Virginia State Capitol Building, will take place virtually this year with opportunities for viewers to interact with student presenters. “This is one of my favorite events each year. It’s an opportunity for our outstanding students to showcase their hard work to legislators, state leaders, and all of West Virginia,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor for Higher Education. “I always leave Undergraduate Research Day…

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Governor Justice dedicates funding to provide free ACT testing opportunities for high school seniors applying for Promise Scholarship

March 1, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – Governor Jim Justice today announced that he is dedicating $341,000 in federal CARES Act funding to provide free ACT testing opportunities for high school seniors applying for the Promise Scholarship, making West Virginia the first state in the nation to cover these costs for students because of the COVID-19 emergency. Through this state-sponsored effort, a student will be able to take one free ACT On-Campus exam administered on a college campus in West Virginia. In a normal year, high school seniors register to take the ACT exam at a national testing center, typically held at a local…

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Less than a week remaining for West Virginia high school seniors to apply for Promise Scholarship and be eligible for prizes

February 23, 2021

CHARLESTON, WV – The deadline for West Virginia high school seniors in the 2021 graduating class to apply for the Promise Scholarship is now just around the corner. Students have until midnight this Monday, March 1, to complete both the Promise application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for the scholarship program, which provides up to $4,750 per year to cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at in-state colleges and universities. “We are so proud that West Virginia ranks in the top 10 states for providing financial aid for college. Thanks to…

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West Virginia Center for Nursing announces public comment period for strategic plan addressing state’s nursing shortage

January 28, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Center for Nursing today announced a public comment period for its “Statewide Strategic Plan to Address the Nursing Shortage in West Virginia.” To inform the plan’s development, the Center worked with nursing and healthcare stakeholders throughout the past several months to gather input from across the state. The draft plan addresses a variety of nursing challenges related to recruitment, retention, and nursing data. “We are eager to hear from additional members of our state’s nursing community to gather further feedback on this important strategic plan,” said Gerald Bragg, chair of the Center’s Board of…

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College and high school student leaders from across West Virginia join to encourage more students to pursue higher education

January 26, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – College students representing a dozen higher education institutions met virtually today with more than 30 high school seniors from across West Virginia to discuss ways they can work together to encourage high school students to pursue and plan for postsecondary education. In this inaugural convening of the newly established West Virginia Student Success Leadership Council, student leaders talked about the barriers young people and their families face when planning for college, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and how they can be a positive influence among their peers. “We need young like you to keep advocating,…

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Second prize drawing this Tuesday for students completing Promise Scholarship application and FAFSA

January 8, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The second of four prize drawings in the “Cool Cash for College” contest is scheduled for this Tuesday, January 12. High school seniors who complete the Promise Scholarship application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are automatically entered into the drawing for prizes that include Apple AirPods, wireless printers, mini refrigerators, and gift cards. “We are so grateful to The Education Alliance for working with us and the West Virginia Department of Education to make this contest possible,”said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Higher Education Chancellor. “Making sure our high school seniors stay on…

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High school seniors who apply for Promise Scholarship and complete the FAFSA eligible for prizes through new statewide contest

December 8, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thanks to an initiative by The Education Alliance, in collaboration with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, current high school seniors who fill out a Promise Scholarship application and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be enrolled in a contest, “Cool Cash for College,” launching today. Seniors who complete both of these steps by March 1, 2021 will be entered into drawings for prizes that include Apple AirPods, wireless printers, mini refrigerators, and gift cards. “We know our seniors are grappling every day with uncertainties around attending school in person, keeping up…

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State’s new Mental Health Loan Repayment Program now accepting applications from practicing providers

November 24, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is now accepting applications for the state’s new Mental Health Loan Repayment Program, which was created by the Legislature and approved by Governor Jim Justice last year in an effort to retain licensed mental health professionals practicing in underserved communities in West Virginia. “We are tremendously grateful to be able to provide this vital financial aid, which will help retain critically needed mental health providers in historically underserved areas of the state,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor for Higher Education. “Mental health needs are acute in West Virginia,…

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Noting gradual enrollment declines, WV’s higher education chancellor encourages high school students to stay on track for college

November 20, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission today released fall 2020 enrollment data for the state’s public four-year colleges and universities. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment declines were moderate at most campuses – with an overall drop of 2.8 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2020, excluding dual credit high school students. The majority of enrollment declines were among dual-enrollment, non-resident and international students. “We had a lot of uncertainties going into this fall semester. Working closely together, our college and university presidents made the decision to bring students back to campus, but in the safest…

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West Virginia’s higher education community joins nationwide observance of National Rural Health Day

November 19, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s higher education community is celebrating the state’s health providers and educators today as part of National Rural Health Day. Held annually on the third Thursday of November, this day is designed to recognize the efforts of those serving the health needs of an estimated 57 million people across the country. “West Virginia depends on our rural health providers and educators to ensure our citizens have the quality healthcare they need. This is true during normal times, and it is especially true today as our state continues fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker,…

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State provides additional flexibilities to help students qualify for financial aid for college

October 19, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today voted to provide students with additional flexibilities in accessing two critical state financial aid programs. These changes come as standardized testing opportunities continue to be uncertain during the COVID-19 crisis. Following today’s vote, high school seniors who graduated in 2020 can now qualify for the Promise Scholarship by taking an ACT or SAT exam by December 31, 2020. High school seniors in the graduating class of 2021 can qualify by taking an exam by August 31, 2021. The test score requirements for Promise remain the same: ACT: 22…

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Higher education systems award $85,000 in grants to strengthen diversity initiatives on college campuses in West Virginia

September 2, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System have awarded $85,000 in grants to support strengthened diversity efforts at higher education institutions across the state. The Diversity for Equity Grants are designed to support campus-led initiatives that make higher education more accessible to people of all ages, races, genders, and backgrounds. “This grant program has been in place for nearly a decade, and it remains so important today as we work to embrace diversity in higher education and level the playing field for educational success in West Virginia,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West…

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In the midst of a pandemic, innovation still drives higher education

September 1, 2020

by Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System West Virginia’s higher education institutions are powerful engines of innovation. Faculty and students are constantly exploring, discovering, and solving some of the most pressing problems facing society today. They challenge each other to advance in their studies and careers. They push for change and new ideas. In normal times, this work across our colleges and universities is formidable. But since March, our ability to continue that work became even more challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic began to change the way we…

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State launches series of 20 financial aid webinars for students, families preparing for college

August 31, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kicking off tomorrow, September 1, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System are launching a series of 20 financial aid webinars for students and families as they prepare for the college-going process. The series, which runs through the end of April, will cover general financial aid information, details on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and updates regarding specific programs including the PROMISE Scholarship, West Virginia Invests, the Higher Education Grant, the Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program, and the Engineering, Science and Technology Scholarship. Financial aid staff will also be…

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Higher education systems award $45,000 in grants to strengthen college student mental health services in WV

August 27, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System have awarded $45,000 in grants to support student mental health at colleges and universities across the state. Through these Campus Mental Health Grants, institutions will implement a variety of projects that include identifying existing mental health services for improvement, increasing accessibility of clinical services, integrating mental health promotion and prevention throughout the campus system, and establishing a campus-wide culture that strives to identify, prevent, and treat mental illness. “We’ve been working hard at the statewide level to ramp up our efforts to improve mental health…

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Nearly 100 nursing students from across the state selected for WV Nursing Scholarship Program

August 26, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, which provides awards to Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), Registered Nursing (RN), graduate and LPN teaching certificate students, has awarded nearly 100 students with scholarships for the Fall 2020 semester. Awardees will receive scholarships ranging from $800 to $4,000, depending on what kind of nursing program they are enrolled in. “Receiving the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship means the world to me,” said Shelby Jarrell, a bachelor’s degree student at West Virginia University Institute of Technology who aspires to work in women’s health. “It shows me that I have support in the state…

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