Register-Herald: Local schools recognized for increasing number of students considering college

Jessica KennedyProgram updates

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This article was posted in the Register-Herald on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

By Sarah Plummer REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

The College Foundation of West Virginia is recognizing 32 high schools in West Virginia that have met or exceeded the state’s 2015 goal for increasing the number of 12th-graders who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

Several local schools were among the 32 that ensured that at least 60 percent of seniors completed the primary application for state and federal financial aid.

Local high schools include Bluefield, where 63 percent of seniors filled out an application; Fayetteville, 61 percent; Midland Trail, 66 percent; Pocahontas County, 62 percent; and Valley, 69 percent.

“Completing the FAFSA is one of the most important steps in pursuing higher education,” said Brian Weingart, senior director for financial aid at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System. “By completing this one form, students can be considered to receive thousands of dollars in grants — that’s ‘free money’ that you don’t have to pay back.”

Students can complete the FAFSA anytime after Jan. 1 in the year they intend to go to college. Filing the FAFSA allows students to be considered for the federal Pell Grant, which this year provided students with up to $5,775 to cover the cost of tuition and other education expenses.
Students who file the form before April 15 will also be considered for up to $2,600 through the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program.

Additionally, completing the FAFSA is a requirement of applying for state scholarship programs, including the PROMISE Scholarship. More information about these programs and other financial aid opportunities is available at cfwv.com, the state’s free college-planning website.

— Email: *protected email*; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer