CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The deadline for West Virginia high school seniors in the 2021 graduating class to apply for the Promise Scholarship is now just around the corner. Students have until midnight this Monday, March 1, to complete both the Promise application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for the scholarship program, which provides up to $4,750 per year to cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at in-state colleges and universities.
“We are so proud that West Virginia ranks in the top 10 states for providing financial aid for college. Thanks to the state’s investment in its students, our office administers more than $104 million in financial aid each year,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor for Higher Education. “But if students aren’t applying, that money gets left on the table – and we simply can’t let that happen. That’s why we are urging students to complete these steps so they can stay on track for college this fall.”
Because of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the Promise Scholarship are down 40 percent compared to this time last year. To give as many students as possible the opportunity to qualify, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission extended the deadline for 2021 seniors to earn qualifying ACT or SAT test scores until August 31.
Students who complete the Promise application and FAFSA by March 1 will also be automatically entered into The Education Alliance’s “Cool Cash for College” contest and could win Apple Airpods, wireless printers, mini refrigerators, or gift cards. A final drawing in the contest will take place on Tuesday, March 2. As a result of three previous drawings, 108 West Virginia high school seniors are receiving prizes to help them in their postsecondary education.
“One of the biggest challenges in keeping students on track for success is the inability to be there engaging with the students in person,” said Amelia Courts, President/CEO of The Education Alliance. “We hope that our final drawing will show students that we are here to support a successful and educational future for them.”
For assistance with applications, students and families are encouraged to call the state’s financial aid hotline at 877-987-7664. Students are also encouraged to sign up for West Virginia’s text-message college counseling program, “Txt 4 Success,” by visiting http://www.cfwvconnect.com/txt-4-success/.