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Gazette-Mail: Mascots dance off during college-going event

October 27, 2016

More than 1,500 ninth grade students participating in the West Virginia GEAR UP program packed into the Clay Center for the Arts for the student leadership academy. The program is a college readiness project coordinated by the state Higher Education Policy Commission and funded by the federal government. It serves students in 10 counties including Fayette, Boone, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Wyoming and Wirt. Wednesday’s event featured speakers including Josh Shipp, a nationally renowned youth leadership coach, Paul Hill, chancellor of the state Higher Education Policy Commission, and Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the state Community and Technical College…

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1,500 students to attend ‘GEAR UP’ student leadership academy in Charleston

October 24, 2016

For planning purposes:  When: Wednesday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   What: A leadership academy to inform students of college options and empower them to take charge of their futures. West Virginia GEAR UP will host a leadership academy featuring a presentation from Josh Shipp, a nationally renowned youth leadership coach. Additionally, college mascots from across West Virginia will present dance routines incorporating college information during a “Mascot Mania” dance-off contest.    Agenda: 10 AM: Opening remarks featuring Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and Dr. Sarah Tucker, Chancellor of the West Virginia Community…

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Kendyl Ryan

Kendyl Ryan: Push aside fear and pursue your dreams

September 27, 2016

Originally published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Daily Mail editorial page. Earlier this week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined leaders across the nation in proclaiming this week “National GEAR UP Week,” highlighting the importance of going to college and encouraging students to pursue their dreams. It’s common knowledge that a high school education simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Going into an interview with a college degree gives the candidate an automatic edge over a candidate with a high school diploma. This is particularly true in West Virginia. According to statistics provided by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, half of…

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Governor Tomblin declares ‘GEAR UP Week’ in recognition of college readiness program

September 19, 2016

West Virginia GEAR UP helps thousands of students gain education and training beyond high school CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Sept. 19, 2016) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today proclaimed this week as “GEAR UP Week” to recognize the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative, a program funded by the United States Department of Education to help students pursue and achieve some form of education or training beyond high school. This week has been declared “National GEAR UP Week” by program partners across the country. “GEAR UP is an exemplary program that has had a proven, positive impact…

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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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WV Public Broadcasting: Texting: Is it the key to a better college transition?

August 25, 2016

By Liz McCormick We use text messaging for a variety of things; to chat with family and friends, to check-in with a coworker, or send a photo, but what about for academics? The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has been a pioneer in helping to develop a national text message counseling program that helps first-time college students transition more easily into college life. This year, that program goes statewide. Read the full story »

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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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GEAR UP 2016 Participants

West Virginia students ‘GEAR UP’ for college during summer academy at West Virginia State University

August 9, 2016

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – This summer, students had the chance to experience life on a college campus during GEAR UP U, a college preparation academy held June 22-25 at West Virginia State University. More than 130 students from central and southern West Virginia attended the event, which was hosted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s federally funded “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” initiative. GEAR UP offers free services in ten counties to help more students enroll and succeed in higher education and advanced training programs.  Students took classes taught by college professors, participated in leadership workshops and gained…

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Gazette-Mail: High school students work with educators to get classmates to college

August 1, 2016

MORGANTOWN — Nearly 500 educators came to Morgantown for a two-day Student Success Summit, a conference that tries to connect the dots between educators of every grade, from preschool all the way through college. Here, students aren’t seen as passive recipients in the education system. They are not just kids to be taught at for eight hours a day. They are partners in education, a source of new ideas and an opportunity to try new things. Several of the panels and even the keynote address from Mark Moore, director of the state Department of Education’s Employee Development Center, highlighted ways…

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PK-12, higher education leaders to discuss future of education in W.Va. during sixth annual Student Success Summit

July 26, 2016

Summit to focus on collaboration, action to improve state’s education systems MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nearly 500 education administrators, teachers, students, military leaders and community group members will join forces this week to find better ways to support students and increase educational achievement in the Mountain State.   The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Department of Education will host the sixth annual statewide Student Success Summit on Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center in Morgantown.  The Summit focuses on encouraging collaboration across the full length of the education…

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Dr. Adam S. Green was named “2016 GEAR UP Professional of the Year” by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. Dr. Green was recognized for developing and expanding multiple programs and services to help West Virginia students pursue education and training beyond high school.

W.Va. higher education administrator receives national recognition for promoting college access

July 19, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Adam S. Green, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, was honored in Washington, D.C. yesterday for his work in assisting students in earning a college diploma. Dr. Green was presented the national “GEAR UP Professional of the Year,” award during the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships conference.  The award is given to one or two individuals each year who have demonstrated outstanding work in promoting the goals of the “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” project,…

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College Foundation of West Virginia sees promising early results in providing college counseling through text messaging

July 18, 2016

Charleston, W.Va. – During a meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission held today, state officials announced that a pilot project to provide college counseling through text messaging is yielding encouraging results. The project, which is part of the Commission’s statewide College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) outreach initiative, provides students with a series of text message reminders to help them succeed in college. Students can text back anytime to receive free assistance from a counselor.  Dr. Ben Castleman and Katharine Meyer, researchers from the University of Virginia, recently released a working paper outlining early results from the effort. Their…

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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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200 eighth grade students to attend ‘GEAR UP U’ at West Virginia State University

June 21, 2016

For Planning Purposes: June 21, 2016 Contact: Jessica Kennedy, Director of Communications and Outreach Division of Student Affairs (304) 532-0911 – cell 200 eighth grade students to attend ‘GEAR UP U’ at West Virginia State University When: June 22-25, 2016 What: GEAR UP U is a four-day, three-night summer academy for West Virginia GEAR UP students in the eighth grade. Students will live on campus, learn more about college, participate in classes, develop leadership skills, and meet students from across the state. Additional information, including the camp schedule, is available at Who: 200 eighth grade students participating in…

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James Ikie Brooks

West Virginia student named to national ‘GEAR UP’ leadership academy

June 13, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – James “Ikie” Brooks, a native of Boone County, has been selected to participate in the highly competitive “GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy,” (GUALA) a 12-month national leadership program providing students across the country with intensive training in civic engagement and community development. The GUALA program identifies students with exceptional leadership potential and provides training to help them engage their peers, schools and communities in creating a college-going culture. Brooks, a junior at Marshall University, was one of 24 students selected from a nationwide pool of applicants made up of students who have graduated from high schools served by the federal…

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MetroNews: W.Va. among top states with high FAFSA completions rates

May 23, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More West Virginia students are completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so far this year compared to last year, according to a recent announcement from the National College Access Network. West Virginia ranked 4th out of all 50 states for FAFSA completion, jumping from 10th place last year. As of this month, 52 percent of West Virginia high school seniors completed a FAFSA. “This really has been a collective effort and many folks around West Virginia have jumped in and wrapped their arms around this issue,” said Dr. Adam Green, vice chancellor of student affairs for…

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West Virginia ranks fourth in the nation in FAFSA completion rates

May 19, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – According to a recent announcement from the National College Access Network (NCAN), West Virginia is one of only four states to see gains in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates so far this year. And the state ranks fourth overall nationally in FAFSA completion — jumping up from 10th place last year.    Thirty-seven high schools in West Virginia met or exceeded the state’s spring benchmark for increasing the number of 12th graders who complete the FAFSA, the primary application for state and federal financial aid for college. In January, the College Foundation of West Virginia…

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WHS celebrates College Decision Day

May 11, 2016

While lots of ink and air time were devoted to last week’s NFL draft, area high school seniors were being recognized for making a different kind of decision. College Decision Day, sponsored by GEAR UP, was observed at Westside High last Thursday. About three dozen students headed to college or military service were recognized in a ceremony held in the school auditorium. The format was similar to a sports signing day. Senior , accompanied by parents and a favorite teacher, sat at a table and “signed” with a college, got their photo taken and were congratulated by the principal, assistant…

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‘College Decision Day’ events to celebrate students for committing to higher education

April 18, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thirty-four West Virginia high schools will participate in the annual statewide “College Decision Day” campaign to recognize high school seniors who plan to pursue some type of education or training beyond high school. College Decision Day is organized by the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV), an initiative coordinated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to help students go to college and succeed. “College Decision Day is inspired by sports events, such as the NCAA national signing day and the NFL draft,” Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor for the Commission, said. “We want to make sure…

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Williamson Daily News: MCHS holds College Day

April 14, 2016

Published April 13, 2016 by the Williamson Daily News By Kyle Lovern – WVU, MU and Southern presidents attend RED JACKET – Mingo Central High School welcomed some important guests on Tuesday afternoon, the presidents of West Virginia University, Marshall University and Southern W.Va. Community and Technical College for their College Day assembly. Presidents Gordon Gee of WVU, Jerome Gilbert of MU and Robert Gunter of SWVCTC (Southern) all addressed thestudents, faculty and parents in attendance for the special day. Gary White of Logan, the former interim president of Marshall, was also at the event with Gilbert. Dr. Paul…

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Charleston Daily Mail editorial: A day to celebrate a college education

April 7, 2016

Published April 7, 2016 in the Charleston Gazette-Mail Enrolling in college or other post-high school training is the best decision some students will ever make. Despite the years of hard work, a post-secondary education for many students can set them on a course of lifelong success. That decision is to be celebrated, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will do just that later this month. State education officials will gather with students at Mingo Central High School on April 12. Any student who has committed to… »READ MORE

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College presidents, officials to recognize Mingo Central students during College Decision Day

April 6, 2016

DELBARTON, W.Va. – Mingo Central High School will celebrate ‘College Decision Day,’ an event honoring students who plan to pursue some form of education or training beyond high school, on April 12 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. College Decision Day is organized by the College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV), an initiative coordinated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to help students go to college and succeed.  Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of West Virginia’s four-year public colleges and universities; Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University; Dr. Jerome Gilbert, President of Marshall University and Dr. Robert…

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College Goal Sunday event offers free help with college financial aid forms

February 15, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students can get free help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other college financial aid forms during the state’s annual College Goal Sunday event. College Goal Sunday financial aid workshops will be held February 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 25 locations. “Completing the FAFSA is a critical step for anyone considering going to college,” Brian Weingart, Senior Director of Financial Aid at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said. “Students must submit this form in order to be considered for a variety of financial aid programs including state and federal grants,…

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College Foundation of West Virginia providing college planning help through text messages

January 20, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Students heading to college this fall can receive deadline reminders and get help completing college-related tasks — all through text messaging.  The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) is offering the service to any West Virginia student considering entering a two-year college, four-year college or career and technical program in the fall of 2016. Participating students will receive a few text messages per month reminding them of upcoming deadlines and providing information about important college-planing tasks such as applying for financial aid, registering for orientation and purchasing text books. Additionally, students can text back anytime they have…

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Following record degree production, West Virginia higher education leaders collaborate to ‘Double the Degrees’ by 2025

December 16, 2015

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) today announced a shared statewide goal to “Double the Degrees” produced annually in West Virginia by the year 2025. The announcement comes on the heels of a record number of college degrees – more than 18,000 – awarded by West Virginia’s public colleges and universities in 2014. By increasing the number of high-quality certificates, associate degrees and bachelor degrees earned and awarded each year to 40,000, state higher education leaders say West Virginia will be more strongly positioned to meet…

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