West Virginia doubles Higher Education Grant award to $6,800 for college students for upcoming academic year

CHARLESTON, WV — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today voted to strengthen the state’s needs-based Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), allowing the maximum award amount to double – from $3,400 to $6,800 – for the 2024-25 academic year for eligible students.

This one-time increase was made possible by funding proposed by Gov. Jim Justice and approved by the West Virginia Legislature during a recent special session to support students amid ongoing challenges with the federal government’s rollout of a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the key to unlocking funds for college. As a result, $40 million is going toward increasing the HEGP award amount, while an additional $11.2 million will support a newly established College Access Emergency Grant – providing up to $2,000 for students who qualify for the upcoming academic year.

“I thank Governor Justice and the Legislature for their strong leadership in allowing students to access these funds,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Thanks to them, students who qualify for HEGP will have access to up to double the normal amount for the upcoming academic year. This is in addition to a newly created grant program that will allow that support to reach even further. This is a game changer for our students in an otherwise challenging year.”

The deadline for applying for HEGP has been extended until July 1, 2024. Following Gov. Justice’s recent State of Emergency proclamation, if a student completed last year’s (2023-24) FAFSA and qualifies for HEGP, they will automatically receive an award of up to $6,800 for the upcoming academic year. If a student doesn’t have a previous FAFSA on file but is eligible for programs – such as TANF and SNAP – through the West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) or West Virginia Department of Health (DH), they can show their eligibility letter to their higher education institution’s financial aid office to receive HEGP. If a student or their family needs a replacement DoHS or DH eligibility letter, they can call 877-716-1212 to request a new one.

Students and families are encouraged to visit https://www.collegeforwv.com/ for more information and to apply for state aid programs, including HEGP. West Virginia’s financial aid hotline is 877-987-7664 for those with any questions.