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W.Va. public colleges, universities retaining and graduating more students over last five years, report says

March 23, 2018

South Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia’s public colleges and universities are keeping more students in school after their freshman year and seeing them through to graduation, according to a five-year trend report presented today to members of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (the Commission). The annual Higher Education Report Card tracks data including enrollment, progression and graduation rates from West Virginia’s 21 public colleges and universities. For the 2017 report, Commission staff reported that retention rates at baccalaureate institutions were up 2.7 percentage points overall for a five-year period, while four-year graduation rates increased 8.3 percentage points, also…

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State colleges and universities to receive more than $8.3 million for campus improvements, thanks to governor’s bond refinancing

March 21, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s public colleges and universities soon will benefit from the infusion of more than $8 million for critical campus building improvements, thanks to a revenue bond refinancing made possible by the office of Gov. Jim Justice. Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said that approximately $8.3 million will be distributed to eight of the state’s public colleges and universities to help pay for their most-pressing deferred maintenance and safety needs, such as elevators, roofs and climate control systems. Justice said the projects represent the wise and prudent use of…

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Higher Education Policy Commission extends PROMISE scholarship application deadline to March 30

March 6, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced today it is extending the application deadline for Fall 2018 PROMISE scholarships to Friday, March 30, 2018. Some students reported they had difficulty completing their PROMISE applications by the earlier deadline due to the statewide public school work stoppage, and legislators and the governor asked the Commission to provide relief, said HEPC Chancellor Dr. Paul L. Hill. “We understand that some students have been unable to complete their PROMISE scholarship applications for the Fall 2018 semester due to the public schools being closed and not having access to…

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National higher education experts join state leaders to launch college completion campaign

February 28, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia higher education leaders committed today to the state’s Momentum Pathways Project, a program that uses proven strategies to improve student success during the first year of college and sustain that momentum through to graduation. The group representing the state’s public higher education institutions met today along with national experts to discuss strategies that increase student retention and graduation. The event was hosted by the West Virginia Higher Education Commission (HEPC), the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia (CTC), and Complete College America (CCA). The Momentum Pathways Project will focus on 15 to Finish,…

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Facebook to join an estimated 150 employers for Job and Resource Fair at Erma Byrd Higher Education Center Complex

February 7, 2018

BEAVER, W.Va. – Facebook will be the featured employer for this year’s Job and Resource Fair on March 23 at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center, southern West Virginia’s collaborative public higher education center. The event will feature dozens of local, state and national employers sharing career opportunities and hiring information with college students, graduates and local residents. The fair’s hours on that Friday are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a keynote address by Facebook at 1 p.m. This annual job fair is presented in partnership with United States Senator Joe Manchin, Workforce West Virginia, and the Beckley-Raleigh County…

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West Virginia high schools exceed halfway mark to statewide FAFSA completion goal

January 24, 2018

West Virginia High Schools exceed halfway mark to statewide FAFSA completion goal As of January 12, more than 32 percent of West Virginia high school seniors have filed a FAFSA CHARLESTON, W. Va. – The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) announced today that 32.5 percent of West Virginia high school students have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2018-19 academic year, exceeding the halfway mark to the statewide goal for this year. In October 2017, CFWV announced the statewide FAFSA completion goal to have at least 63 percent of high school seniors file a…

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WV MetroNews: Study shows text messaging counseling program working

December 6, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new study shows the text messaging service offered to high school seniors through the College Foundation of West Virginia has improved retention at some of the state’s colleges and universities. The CFWV and West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission released the results of the study from a pair of University of Virginia researchers Wednesday. The Txt 4 Success program, which began four years ago, has made it nearly 7 percent more likely that a student sticks with college through the first year by reminding them of certain deadlines for things like registration and financial aid. Read the full…

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

December 6, 2017

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 student at Concord University, but she also has three on-campus jobs, participates in cheerleading and teaches dance classes in her community. Her busy schedule makes it easy to forget about college deadlines. Luckily, she receives reminders directly on her cellphone. The College Foundation of West Virginia’s (CFWV’s) “Txt 4 Success” initiative works…

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West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission releases enrollment report, announces newly appointed members

November 17, 2017

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission releases enrollment report, announces newly appointed members CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) held its regularly scheduled Commission meeting. During the meeting, HEPC released the Fall 2017 Enrollment Report, which covers national enrollment trends as well as projections and statistics for West Virginia’s four-year public colleges. The report indicates that public four-year institutions nationwide are continuing to experience slow enrollment growth, increasing by 0.2 percent in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. The headcount in West Virginia’s public four-year colleges has decreased by 0.2 percent since Fall…

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West Virginia schools to celebrate statewide College Application and Exploration Week

November 1, 2017

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 – 10. During the week, staff from participating schools – from pre-schools to adult learning centers – will provide students with age-appropriate information pertaining to colleges and careers. Students will learn about the importance of pursuing some form of college after high school, whether it is certificate and technical programs,…

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

October 2, 2017

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 April 15, 2018. Filing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for financial aid for college. Students who file the FAFSA are considered for the Federal Pell Grant, which awards up to $5,920 annually to students to cover the cost of tuition and other education expenses. Additionally, students must…

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Higher Education Policy Commission and Kanawha County Schools awarded $50,000 for FAFSA completion efforts

September 14, 2017

Higher Education Policy Commission and Kanawha County Schools awarded $50,000 for FAFSA completion efforts CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced today that the agency has been awarded $50,000 from the National College Access Network (NCAN), a nonprofit organization focusing on ensuring equal access to higher education. Last year, HEPC secured a $55,000 grant from NCAN to fund a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Challenge” campaign in Kanawha County Schools. The FAFSA Completion Challenge campaign, which was funded by the Kresge Foundation, was a national effort to increase FAFSA completion rates by at least five percent…

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Higher education Chancellor Paul Hill issues statement on the announcement of new jobs coming to the West Virginia Regional Technology Park

August 28, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “On behalf of the state higher education system, I am so pleased to welcome N3 as our newest tenant at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park. The investment they have chosen to make in West Virginia will not only bring well-paying jobs for college graduates to our area but also support a region-wide culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. “Their decision to launch operations here speaks volumes of the quality of our facilities. But, more importantly, it serves as a reflection of the caliber of our workforce and the knowledge, skills and abilities of our recent college graduates.…

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West Virginia Center for Nursing awards $422,000 in scholarships to help nursing students earn a degree

August 25, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Center for Nursing announced today that 224 students will receive funds totaling $422,000 as part of the Nursing Scholarship Program. The program, which is administered by the West Virginia Center for Nursing in conjunction with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), helps licensed practical, registered, master’s and doctoral nursing students pursue their degrees. “The Center for Nursing plays a crucial role in helping address our state’s need for healthcare providers,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the HEPC, said. “This scholarship is an example of our efforts to directly align our higher education…

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State higher ed official nationally recognized for service to student veterans

August 22, 2017

Higher Education Policy Commission staff member’s work ‘protects veterans’ education benefits’ CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s director of veterans’ programs has received the National Association of State Approving Agencies’ (NASAA’s) highest recognition for his efforts to promote veterans’ education opportunities. L.G. Corder, Esq., Director of Veterans Education and Training Programs at the Policy Commission (HEPC), was recently presented the “President’s Award,” the top honor from NASAA, an organization dedicated to providing and safeguarding quality education and training programs for veterans. NASAA members work with government agencies, Congress, schools and employers to assure that veterans have…

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

Parkersburg News and Sentinel: Stay on Track: College students, take 15 credits per semester

August 20, 2017

Young people across West Virginia have begun yet another year on college campuses as they work toward their degrees and pursuing their career goals. In fact, West Virginia University reported a record number of new freshmen enrollments this year — 6,224 of them, to be exact. As part of the effort to make sure all those freshmen, at WVU and every other institution of higher learning in the state, achieve their goals, the Higher Education Policy Commission is issuing a reminder: Earn at least 15 credits per semester to stay on track for graduation. Read the full story »

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Herald-Dispatch: Editorial: Rise in student aid applications a good sign for WV

August 17, 2017

It is really one of the first steps toward going to college or community college. But in recent years, only about half of West Virginia high school seniors have made it that far. So, it is encouraging to see that by the end of June this year, almost two-thirds of the state’s seniors had completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, called FAFSA for short. That’s up from about 57 percent from two years ago. This application starts the process that opens up the opportunity for students to win a Promise Scholarship, but also to qualify for many forms…

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

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

August 16, 2017

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 graduation. Through their “15 to Finish” campaign, HEPC policy experts hope to help more students complete degree programs and reduce the overall cost of higher education. Federal financial aid policies define “full-time” enrollment as 12 credits per semester, and, as a result, many students taking only 12 hours think they…

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WVVA: Byrd Higher Ed Center announces 10th anniversary scholarship winners

August 15, 2017

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVVA) – For ten years, the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center has been helping make it possible for a segment of the student population to get their degrees. And now, the collaborative learning center is looking toward the next decade of serving students. Students, family and administrators gathered in front of the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver to celebrate ten years of serving students. A time capsule, filled with messages of hope and thoughts of what the future may hold, was buried as part of a ceremony that awarded 30 students with $1,000 scholarships. “It’s…

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Photo of buttons that say FAFSA and a financial aid booklet

Gazette-Mail: Two-thirds of WV’s high school seniors apply for financial aid

August 14, 2017

Nearly two-thirds of all high school seniors in West Virginia had completed an important application by the end of June, according to the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission. The application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the first step for students to earn the Promise Scholarship and to qualify for other forms of federal student aid. In Kanawha County, where state officials secured a $55,000 grant to encourage more students to complete the application, there was at least an 8 percent bump from the 2014-15 school year. “Our high schools were very creative in reaching out to students…

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Higher Education Policy Commission recognizes Kanawha County high schools for college-going efforts

August 7, 2017

‘FAFSA Completion Challenge’ leads to more students applying for college financial aid CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State higher education officials are applauding the efforts of Kanawha County high schools for their part in a year-long “FAFSA Completion Challenge” campaign, a countywide effort to increase the number of 12th graders applying for college financial aid. During a training event for Kanawha County principals on Friday, representatives from the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) joined Kanawha County Schools (KCS) Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring to celebrate the results of the campaign, which led to a nine-point increase in the number of Kanawha County seniors…

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Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, congratulates students, faculty and staff on the ten-year success of the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center.

Erma Byrd Center celebrates tenth anniversary

August 4, 2017

Collaboration among colleges and universities expands access to higher education for students in Southern West Virginia BEAVER, W.Va. – State officials, students, faculty and community members gathered at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center on Friday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the facility’s opening. The Erma Byrd Center, which was West Virginia’s first collaborative higher education campus, offers classes and student services from Bluefield State College, Concord University and Marshall University. During Friday’s celebration, a variety of state and college officials offered congratulations and celebratory remarks, including Dr. Dave Swanson, chair of the Higher Education Foundation; Dr. Paul L.…

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Video: 2017 CFWV Youth Summit

July 29, 2017

West Virginia Student Success Summit 2017 from Seeds Training on Vimeo. Students from six high schools —Calhoun County, Herbert Hoover, Lewis County, Spring Valley, Tolsia and Wayne County — sent teams of students to the 2017 Youth Summit, hosted July 25-27 as part of the Commission’s College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) initiative. Students learned leadership skills and strategies to build and strengthen a college-going culture in their communities. They will return to their high schools to launch Higher Education Readiness Officers (HEROs) groups this fall.

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Student Success Summit to focus on collaboration across education systems

July 25, 2017

Seventh annual Summit kicks off tomorrow in Morgantown MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nearly 500 education administrators, teachers, students, military leaders and community group members will come together this week to tackle education issues in the Mountain State. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and the West Virginia Department of Education will host the seventh annual statewide Student Success Summit on Wednesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 27 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center in Morgantown. The Summit focuses on encouraging collaboration across the full length of the education pipeline. Representatives ranging from pre-school teachers to college presidents…

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Smart Student Loan Borrowing

State higher ed officials offer guidance on student loan borrowing

July 5, 2017

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 comes to student loan borrowing. “Choosing to pursue education and training beyond high school is undoubtedly a sound investment,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor at the Commission, said. “But just like with any other financial decision, it’s imperative that students make informed choices in deciding the type and amount of loans…

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