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ECMC Kicks Off Virginia College Nights to Educate Families About Planning for College

February 15, 2018

58 events to be held around the state; more than $85,000 in scholarships to be awarded

Students and families wanting to learn more about planning and paying for college can attend one of 58 College Nights planned throughout Virginia between now and April 26. The events are hosted by Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC), which provides college access and financial literacy education to empower students to make informed choices about their futures.

During the next three months, ECMC will give away more than $85,000 in scholarships at the events. The company has hosted College Nights in Virginia for the past 12 years.

"College is often the first critical milestone in a person's financial life," said Paula Craw, vice president of outreach and student success at ECMC. "Bringing these college planning workshops to students and families will help them better understand their options, enabling them to make informed decisions."

College Nights are interactive events designed to help students and their families choose the right college, navigate the financial aid process and find scholarships while avoiding scholarship scams.

Attendees will receive a copy of ECMC's Opportunities booklet, a free college planning workbook that features worksheets, checklists, and helpful tips along with Virginia-specific information for high school students and their families. The books are also available free for download in English and Spanish.

In addition, attendees at each event will have the opportunity to win one of three $500 scholarships.

"Our focus is on reaching the highest need students and families—College Nights are traditionally held at high schools where eligibility for free and reduced lunch is 50 percent or greater," Craw said. "In addition, we sponsor the events at a few community colleges in rural, high-need areas where it makes sense for the events to be centrally located."

A full list of the Virginia College Nights is available here.

In Virginia, ECMC's College Nights are part of a collaboration with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on the "1, 2, 3 Go! Virginia's Three Steps to College" initiative. The program is a series of events including:

  • "1" College Nights to help students and families understand the process of applying and paying for college.
  • "2" Virginia College Application Week to encourage students to submit at least one college application.
  • "3" Super FAFSA Project Virginia to get hands-on help to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • "Go!" which is Decision Day in Virginia, to recognize and celebrate all seniors and their plans for postsecondary education.

About ECMC
Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is a nonprofit corporation with a mission to help students succeed. ECMC works to lower student loan default rates; sponsors college access and success initiatives, and financial education programs; and provides resources to support student loan borrowers to successfully repay their loans. To learn more about ECMC's initiatives, visit

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