State provides additional flexibilities to help students qualify for financial aid for college

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today voted to provide students with additional flexibilities in accessing two critical state financial aid programs. These changes come as standardized testing opportunities continue to be uncertain during the COVID-19 crisis.

Following today’s vote, high school seniors who graduated in 2020 can now qualify for the Promise Scholarship by taking an ACT or SAT exam by December 31, 2020. High school seniors in the graduating class of 2021 can qualify by taking an exam by August 31, 2021. The test score requirements for Promise remain the same:

  • ACT: 22 composite score with a minimum of 20 in English, math, science, and reading.
  • SAT: 1100 total score with a minimum of 520 in math, and 530 in evidence-based reading and writing.

The Commission also considered eligibility for the Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program, which is in its second year and accepts a set cohort of 25 recent high school graduates who plan to become teachers in high-demand fields in West Virginia. To give as many interested students as possible the chance to be considered for next year’s cohort, the Commission approved removing the college-ready assessment standard for applicants.

“Students across the state are working incredibly hard, even in these challenging times, to qualify for the programs that will allow them to pursue and succeed in higher education,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “We have adopted several changes to make our state financial aid programs more accessible to students this year, and we will continue working with them to help make their college and career dreams a reality.”

Earlier this year, the Commission suspended the GPA requirements to renew the Promise Scholarship, Higher Education Grant, Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program, and Engineering, Science & Technology Scholarship from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

For additional information regarding state financial aid in West Virginia, visit or call 877-987-7664.

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