Latest News

Media Contact

Jessica Tice

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 »

Continue Reading
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…

Continue Reading

Report: More Mountain State students pursuing higher education

May 2, 2017

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 College System (CTCS). The college-going rate increased for the second consecutive year, inching up by 0.3 percent — or 266 students — from 2015 to 2016. “These gains, while subtle, represent a solid step in the right direction,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor, said. “For several years, the impact of…

Continue Reading

W.Va. sees gains in college freshmen enrollment

November 18, 2016

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 campuses increased by 3.7 percent from last year.  “These increases are reflective of the strong emphasis the Commission and its partners have placed on college access and success,” Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission said. “West Virginia needs more college graduates to meet workforce demands and grow our economy. I…

Continue Reading

MetroNews: Fifteen to Finish program promotes faster college graduation rates

November 6, 2016

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State junior and Boone County native Taylor Raby is glad she’s able to handle a full-time schedule–something that some students either aren’t able to or choose not to do. “I thought it was really important just to be able to graduate on time,” she said. “I’m actually going to be able to graduate early, hopefully.” The upperclassmen was one of nine students to talk with Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, on Thursday during a sit-down meeting to emphasize the importance of taking at least fifteen credit hours each semester.…

Continue Reading

Bruce Vandal: WV leads nation in college completion strategies

September 26, 2016

Published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Gazette editorial page Last week, faculty and staff from West Virginia’s public colleges and universities set forth on a bold path to dramatically improve college completion rates in the state. The work occurred as part of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Corequisite Academy, a two-day conference held in partnership with Complete College America to help campuses implement a new model for college students deemed to be “underprepared.” Developmental, or remedial, education has long been recognized as a major barrier to student success. For too many students, placement in these classes represents a dead…

Continue Reading
Stock photo

Higher Education Policy Commission offers guidance on student loan borrowing

August 10, 2016

Eight tips for financing higher education CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Students across West Virginia are busy checking off a long to-do list as they head off to college: purchasing text books, outfitting dorm rooms, making last-minute schedule changes and, for many, finding the resources to pay for it all. Student loans can help close funding gaps between college savings, scholarships and grants, but financial aid administrators from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission are advising students and families to think carefully in making borrowing decisions.    “Without a doubt, choosing to pursue education and training beyond high school is a sound…

Continue Reading

Charleston Gazette: State wants to redefine ‘full-time’ college status

October 1, 2014

Article: Charleston Gazette September 30, 2014 By Mackenzie Mays Federal financial guidelines require a college student to take 12 credit hours each semester in order to be a labeled full-time student, but more and more education officials say that’s not enough if students want to complete their degrees on time. West Virginia is joining several states across the country in launching a “15 to Finish” campaign, which urges colleges to promote 15-credit semesters in an attempt to get more students to complete courses in the right time frame and subsequently avoid higher tuition costs and a delayed entry to the…

Continue Reading

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission launches ’15 to Finish’ initiative

September 30, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Representatives of West Virginia’s public four-year colleges and universities gathered today in Charleston to launch the Higher Education Policy Commission’s statewide 15 to Finish* campaign, an initiative designed to encourage students to take 15 credit hours each semester and promote timely degree completion. “Enrolling in and completing at least 15 credits per semester is essential to completing a degree on time – within four years for a four-year degree,” said Dr. Paul L. Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “And the payoffs for taking this full course load extend beyond timely degree completion. Research has shown that taking 15…

Continue Reading

Chancellor Hill: 15 to Finish – a simple message to drive college completion

September 30, 2014

This commentary appeared in the September 30 edition of the Charleston Gazette.  When preparing for college, there are so many questions students must consider — from which school and major are the right fit, to choosing from financial aid options and mapping out schedules. Through all of this detailed planning, I believe it’s clear that students enter college with a real desire to graduate on time and start their careers as soon as possible. To help them reach that goal, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has launched a 15 to Finish campaign — with a simple but critical…

Continue Reading

HEPC to begin ’15 to Finish’ campaign

August 4, 2014

Article: WV MetroNews CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Higher Education Policy Commission will roll out an informational campaign on college and university campuses encouraging students to graduate within four years. Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Paul Hill said the “15 to Finish” campaign will encourage students to take at last 15 credit hours every semester in order to graduate on time. Read more »

Continue Reading