Higher Education Policy Commission extends testing deadline to qualify for PROMISE Scholarship due to COVID-19

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today voted to provide students with greater flexibilities in qualifying for the PROMISE Scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year. With national ACT and SAT testing currently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students will now be able to qualify for PROMISE for the fall semester by taking an ACT or SAT test by the end of October 2020. In addition, students will be able to use scores from residual tests, which are the same as the national ACT or SAT but administered, scored, and accepted by state colleges.

“West Virginia’s high school seniors have worked very hard to qualify for PROMISE. We want to make sure they’re able to continue pursuing their college dreams – especially in the midst of this emergency,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Interim Chancellor of the Commission. “With the changes approved today, our high school seniors will have additional opportunities to complete testing to qualify for PROMISE. We hope this gives students and their families greater peace of mind as they continue planning for their futures.”

The Commission will be working with public colleges and universities across the state on the possibility of residual testing opportunities. In addition, students will be able to take any national ACT or SAT testing that is scheduled between now and the deadline extension to qualify for PROMISE. For the scholarship program to receive test scores most quickly, students should enter the code 4539 when taking the ACT, and 3456 for the SAT.

All other eligibility requirements, including test score requirements, remain the same:

  • ACT: 22 composite score with a minimum of 20 in English, math, science, and reading.
  • SAT: 1100 total score with a minimum of 520 in math, and 530 in evidence-based reading and writing.

The following flexibilities are also in place for PROMISE and other state financial aid programs:

  • For students already receiving PROMISE, the West Virginia Higher Education Grant, the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship, or the Engineering, Science & Technology Scholarship, the GPA requirements to renew the awards from 2019-20 to 2020-21 have been suspended.
  • For students already receiving the West Virginia Invests Grant for associate degrees, the community service requirement for spring 2020 awards and GPA requirements to renew the grant for the 2020-21 academic year have been suspended.
  • For students applying for the Higher Education Grant, the state’s need-based financial aid program, the application deadline has been extended to May 15, 2020.

Additional information will be posted on the Commission’s website at www.wvhepc.edu as it becomes available. Questions can be directed to the state’s financial aid hotline: 888-825-5707.