November 19, 2020
The following article is from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Press Release
To mark Virginia College Application Week (Nov. 16-20), The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) launched a statewide video featuring college students encouraging high schoolers to attend some form of postsecondary education after graduation. The video is based around SCHEV’s and Educational Credit Management Corporation’s (ECMC) 1-2-3 Go! initiative, which provides a series of informational events and resources, including Virginia College Application Week, to help students make informed decisions about their education after high school.
As with previous components of the statewide messaging campaign featuring college and university presidents and mascots, the 1-2-3 Go! video offers a message of encouragement and valuable information for Virginia students and their families, including many facts and tips:
- College graduates make about a million dollars more over the course of their lives than people with just a high school diploma.
- “College” means many things; it can be going to a traditional college or community college, getting a certification or license, or training through an apprenticeship – it’s about pursuing any form of education after high school.
- Approximately $120 billion in federal and $250 million in Virginia state aid programs is available each year to help students pay for college.
Research options for the best fit. Look at things like school size, location, costs, competitiveness, etc. Learn more by exploring and completing the College Opportunities Guide and Workbook and attending College Night Events across Virginia sponsored by ECMC.
Visit www.strivescan.com/virginia/ to review virtual tours, panels, and conversations with admissions offices from colleges and universities across Virginia.
Pay attention to college application deadlines. Most four-year colleges have early application deadlines in November and December, with regular deadlines in January and February. Community colleges have flexible deadlines, meaning that they accept applications as they are received.
Check for fee waivers. If a student’s family is eligible for free or reduced priced lunch, they are likely eligible for SAT, ACT and college application fee waivers.
Research and apply for scholarships. Scholarships are available through many sources, including schools, employers, banks, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and professional organizations.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (aka FAFSA) beginning October 1. Many institutions and private scholarships require students to submit the FAFSA before they will consider them for any financial aid. Remember that financial aid is limited and generally awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Be aware of FAFSA priority filing deadlines. Some deadlines are as early as December, but the most common is March 1. Visit www.schev.edu/financialaiddeadlines for Virginia’s deadlines.
Visit www.schev.edu/123go for information on available financial aid webinars from the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA).
Compare financial aid packages, talk with your family and school counselors, and commit to your future! Many students make these decisions around May 1.
“Our colleges and universities have come together to inform Virginia students about the benefits of education beyond high school," said Erin McGrath, SCHEV's assistant director of college access & PK12 outreach. "We hope this new video will ignite excitement among high school students as they make plans to further their education in the coming years."