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

April 17, 2020

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…

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State higher education systems provide financial aid flexibilities for students amid ongoing campus changes related to COVID-19

March 20, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council) today voted to provide students with greater flexibilities in accessing and renewing state financial aid programs. This move comes as higher education institutions across the state continue adjusting methods for course delivery this semester in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia, with many transitioning to online or other non-face-to-face methods for their classes. “Our institutions are making proactive and smart changes in the way they deliver instruction to protect West Virginia’s students, campus communities, and…

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Millions in college grant dollars available if students file the FAFSA

November 18, 2019

State higher education office sets goal for 70 percent of high school seniors to complete financial aid applications CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) is aiming for at least 70 percent of high school seniors to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15, 2020. Without completing this application, West Virginia’s students are potentially missing out on millions of dollars in available federal and state tuition assistance. To be eligible for all federal and most state financial aid programs, students must file the FAFSA. Those who file are considered for the…

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Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholarship Logo

West Virginia launches newest and most prestigious state college scholarship

November 13, 2019

$40,000 Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars program created to attract math, science teachers CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) recently launched the online application for its newest and most-prestigious state scholarship, which is aimed at addressing critical teacher shortages in math, science, elementary education and special education.  The Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program will provide up to $10,000 per year in financial aid to 25 recent high school graduates to encourage them to become outstanding West Virginia public school teachers.  This is the state’s largest-dollar financial aid award and most-prestigious scholarship for undergraduate students, according to Dr.  Sarah…

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News Release: College Foundation of West Virginia sets goal for statewide FAFSA completion

October 1, 2018

College Foundation of West Virginia sets goal for statewide FAFSA completion Statewide efforts will encourage at least 63 percent of high school seniors to file a FAFSA by April 15, 2019 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – High school students should plan now to complete college financial aid applications if they wish to become eligible for state and federal grants and student aid, like the PROMISE Scholarship and federal Pell Grant. Today, the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) announced a goal to have at least 63 percent of West Virginia high school seniors complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by April…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Health Sciences Service Program awards $285,000 to support rural health care in West Virginia

May 31, 2017

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced today that 12 health sciences students from across West Virginia have received financial support for their education through the state’s Health Sciences Service Program. The Health Sciences Service Program was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1995. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 180 health professionals with funds to help cover education expenses in exchange for a commitment to practice in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia. Eligible students must be enrolled in the final year of a health professions graduate program and must commit…

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May 1 deadline approaching for West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program applications

April 24, 2017

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today reminded students that May 1 is the deadline to apply for the Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), the state’s need-based financial aid program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required to be considered for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov. “We always encourage students to complete the FAFSA to see if they are eligible for this grant program, which helps cover the cost of tuition and fees at two- and four-year colleges and…

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State extends application deadline for Higher Education Grant Program until May 1

April 3, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today announced that this year’s application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov.   The state extended the deadline because of a technology issue at the federal level. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows…

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MetroNews: New FAFSA goal set for West Virginia high school seniors

December 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — By April 15, those with the College Foundation of West Virginia want to see the number of 12th graders in the Mountain State completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, climb to 60 percent. “We know that the jobs of the state of West Virginia are changing,” said Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, noting that 50 percent of the jobs being created within the state require some for of post-secondary education. “Because our state economy is being driven increasingly more by those who have attained post-secondary education,…

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Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Pictured (left to right): Dr. Adam S. Green, West Virginia GEAR UP; Dr. Paul L. Hill, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Dr. Amelia Courts, The Education Alliance; James “Ikie” Brooks, Marshall University (student); Lesia Sammons, Mingo County Schools; John Perdue, State Treasurer; Christy Scott, West Virginia Bankers Association; Gina Joynes, State Treasurer’s Office; and Vanessa Keadle, West Virginia GEAR UP.

Education leaders launch new “Make Cents WV” partnership to tackle financial literacy

December 8, 2016

Charleston, W.Va. – Education leaders across the state are joining forces to help students improve their financial skills. Earlier today, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and The Education Alliance unveiled a new initiative, “Make Cents WV,” to provide financial literacy tools and resources to students, families and educators.  The effort, which is led by The Education Alliance and funded by a grant from the Commission’s federal West Virginia GEAR UP program, will emphasize financial planning within the context of preparing for higher education programs.  “Postsecondary education represents a major investment,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said. “This effort is…

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Class of 2017 FAFSA Completion Rates by WV County

College Foundation of West Virginia sets goal to increase FAFSA completion rates to 60 percent

December 1, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) today announced a goal to increase the number of 12th graders who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or “FAFSA,” to 60 percent by April 15. Students planning to attend college during the 2017-18 academic year can complete the FAFSA online now at www.fafsa.gov using their 2015 tax returns. April 15 is the deadline for students to submit the form and be considered for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program, which provides grants to students based on their financial need.  This past year (as of November 18), 58.5%…

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College Foundation of West Virginia to host “FAFSA Friday” events during Kanawha County high school football games

October 6, 2016

For planning purposes: October 6, 2016 Contact: Jessica Kennedy, Director of Communications and Outreach West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (304) 558-0655 jessica.kennedy@wvhepc.edu College Foundation of West Virginia to host “FAFSA Friday” events during Kanawha County high school football games When: Friday, October 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Where: Herbert Hoover High School Football Stadium 5856 Elk River Rd. S. Clendenin, WV 25045 – and – South Charleston High School Football Stadium 1 Eagle Way South Charleston, WV 25309 Who/What: The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) and Kanawha County Schools (KCS) will host “FAFSA Friday” events during…

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Gazette-Mail: Students can apply for PROMISE, other financial aid sooner

September 14, 2016

The application which determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid to go to college and several of the state’s scholarships will be available sooner this year. Instead of waiting until of Jan. 1, 2017, to start the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is a required application that determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid, students will be able to start the application on Oct. 1 this year. Applications for three West Virginia scholarships (the Promise Scholarship; the Engineering, Science and Technology Scholarship; and the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship) also will become available at the beginning of October. “We’re hoping…

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin: Sending our kids off to college helps keep them here at home

August 26, 2016

Over the past few weeks, families across the state hugged their children goodbye and sent them off to college. For many, it was a bittersweet and emotional moment filled with both pride and sorrow, worry and relief. But we can all take heart. Because earning a college degree puts students on a path to fulfilling their dreams – and for many, that path leads back home. A recent study commissioned by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and conducted by researchers at the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that the majority of the Mountain State’s in-state…

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West Virginia Center for Nursing awards $225,000 in scholarships

August 24, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Center for Nursing announced today that 76 students will receive funds totaling $225,000 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, helps licensed practical, registered, masters and doctoral nursing students pursue their degrees. April Shapiro, who received a $10,000 award for the fall and spring semesters, plans to use her scholarship in order to finish her Ph.D. in nursing at West Virginia University. She will continue to teach nursing in West Virginia in order to…

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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…

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For class of 2016, more than 3,500 students awarded PROMISE scholarship

July 13, 2016

West Virginia providing $92 million in college financial aid this academic year Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today announced that more than 3,500 students who graduated from high school this year have been awarded PROMISE Scholarships, annual awards of up to $4,750 they can use beginning this fall toward tuition and fees at colleges and universities in West Virginia.  Students are receiving award letters in their mailboxes this week. Additional PROMISE Scholarships may be awarded as eligible students are identified through June 2016 ACT and SAT testing scores.  “Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the West Virginia…

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