West Virginia Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money
The cost of an education can be astronomical today. Grants can help defer some of these costs.
Unlike scholarships grants do not have to be paid back and are based solely on financial need.
Grants for WV Residents & Students
Some grants are specific to certain courses of study, but the emphasis is still on financial need. A number of grants are available to West Virgina students to help absorb some of the costs of an education. Taking a closer look at education costs it becomes clear why grant assistance is needed.
- A public four year college or university will cost approximately $7,605 a year in tuition and related expenses for in-state students
- The average cost for out-of-state students (full-time) is nearly $12,000
- Private non-profit four-year colleges or universities will cost approximately $27,293 a year in tuition and expenses
- Public two-year colleges or universities will cost more than $2,700 a year in tuition and expenses
- Over $154 billion in financial aid was distributed to undergraduate students last school year alone
- Average amount of financial aid for a typical full-time undergraduate student last school year was nearly $12,000
- Over $6,000 of this financial aid came directly from grant money
- More than 600,000 students pursuing education beyond high school in West Virginia qualify for some type of grant or financial aid assistance
How To Be Considered For A Grant
In order to be considered for a grant a student needs to file what is known as a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
This application must be filed each year. The application needs to be filed by the end of January.* * Tax information required on the form may be estimated if a student does not have the information to provide exact figures.
The date the FAFSA needs to be received by will vary by institution. For example West Virgina University requires the application to be received no later than March 1st. Other institutions require the FAFSA earlier. Students should check with the financial aid office of the school they will be attending to be sure of the date that applies.
Students applying for a Pell Grant or direct loan do not have to worry about a specific submission date. Any student completing the FAFSA after May 1st of the enrollment year is automatically considered for either a Pell Grant or direct loan.
There is no application fee to apply for a grant in the state of West Virgina. The FAFSA is used to determine financial need for a grant. It is important to get the FAFSA form in by the referenced deadlines to be among the nearly 40 percent of West Virgina college students who receive grant money.
Effect Of Scholarships On Grant Money
A student can still receive scholarship funds at most West Virgina institutions and still be eligible for grant assistance since a grant is based directly on financial need. Yet scholarship money is considered as a resource in the determination of financial-based aid (i.e. a grant).
Example: A student's initial financial need is $10,000 and they receive a $1,000 scholarship That scholarship amount is then subtracted from the initial $10,000 with a difference of $9,000 The remaining amount ($9,000) is then used as the student's financial need for the determination of a grant or other financial need-based assistance
Who Is Eligible For West Virgina GrantsMost grants available to students in West Virgina are for in-state students only. However, some institutions have tuition reciprocity agreements with other states to help reduce a student's expenses even if they are out-of-state students.
Federal GrantsFour types of federal grants are available to all college students regardless of state and apply to in-state and out-of-state students. The only requirement is to be a student eligible to attend school in the United States. These grants are:
Pell GrantThe Pell Grant* is part of the federal student aid program. A Pell Grant will provide up to $4,310 a year to undergraduate students with documented financial need. A Pell Grant can be applied for online at grant.gov.
FSEOGThe Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is a federal grant supplementing Pell for students demonstrating the most financial need. Awards are up to $4,000.
Academic Competitiveness GrantThis grant is for students completing a specific high school program. ACG supplements Pell with a $750 maximum award applied to freshman year. $1,300 is the maximum for the subsequent year of study.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant
This supplements Pell by providing a maximum of $4,000 applied to the third and fourth year for undergraduate students who major in specific fields.
Students pursuing degrees in computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, technology or a foreign language considered in high demand (i.e. Arabic) are generally eligible for this grant if they have qualifying financial need.
Applicants for all of these federal grants should make sure they have all necessary information prior to starting the application process as applications filled out online are not saved and will not be accepted if all necessary information is not included. Applicants should check an online application for errors before submitting as any errors will delay the acceptance process.
*West Virgina Pell GrantThe West Virginia Pell Grant is available to students in West Virgina demonstrating documented financial need. Other specific requirements include:
- FAFSA with an EFC lower than 3850
- Student (full and part time) required to maintain GPA meeting school requirements during the entire school year
- Eligible students are disbursed a set amount per year that can be applied towards tuition and out-of-pocket expenses incurred while attending school including books, supplies and campus housing expenses.
- Students need to check with the financial aid office at their institution of choice to be sure they participate in Pell funding.
West Virginia Grant Programs
West Virgina students have several grant options available. It is recommended that students apply for as many as they qualify for. Receipt of multiple grant money is permitted in most cases. Many community-based foundations offer grants with qualifying criteria.
The same is true for grants from organizations or state agencies. While no student will likely qualify for all of the grants available in West Virgina, it is likely an in-state student will qualify for a least one grant.
West Virginia Higher Education GrantThe West Virgina Higher Education Grant is a need-based grant for undergraduate students in West Virgina who attend an approved private or public university or college in the state of West Virgina or Pennsylvania. The requirements include:
- All applicants are required to reside in the state of West Virgina for a period of one year directly preceding the application date of the grant
- All applicants must be United States citizens
- All applicants must have attained a high school diploma (or the equivalent)
- All applicants must complete an FAFSA and Common Application for State Level Financial Aid
West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program c/o Daniel Crocket
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Blvd. East, Suite 700, Charleston, WV 25301Phone number: (304) 558-4614 or 1-888-825-5707
Bernice Pickens Parsons FundThe Bernice Pickens Parsons Fund is a renewable grant award specifically for high school seniors in West Virgina who intend to pursue library science, paraprofessional training (legal field) or nursing. Qualifications include:
- All applicants must be residents of West Virgina and U.S. citizens
- All applicants must have documented financial need
- All applicants must submit high school transcripts along with test scores, financial need analysis, references and an essay with the completed application
The minimum grant award for the Bernice Pickens Parsons Fund is $1,000.
The Bernice Pickens Parsons Fund c/o Susan Hoover, Scholarship Coordinator
Phone number: (304) 346-3620
Website: The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation
West Virginia Space GrantThe West Virgina Space Grant is available through the Consortium Undergraduate Scholarship Program. Awards are from $1000 to $2000 and applicable to most West Virgina colleges. Requirements:
- All applicants must be residents of West Virgina and U.S. citizens
- All applicants must have documented financial need
- All applicants must be major in aerospace science
West Virgina Nursing And Medical GrantsNursing grants are available from several sources in West Virgina. The basic requirement is that the student be enrolled in nursing courses.
Advanced Education Nursing GrantStudents attending an accredited nursing school, academic health center or public or private institutions are eligible for grants offered through this program. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply early since it can take up to six months to get a response. Progress and status reports are required.
West Virginia University Research Corporation
Several grants for students involved with research projects are available such as the Susan Harwood Training Grant.
Address: WVU Research Corporation Suite 101
886 Chestnut Ridge Rd
PO Box 6221 Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone number: (304) 293-4707
West Virginia Center for NursingSeveral grants and scholarships are available. All applications are available directly online. Website
Grants For Part-time Adult StudentsThere is no age limit on grants. Some are geared specifically towards adult students.
The Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student (HEAPS) GrantHEAPS is for part-time adult students enrolled in a West Virgina college or university meeting at least part-time attendance requirements. Applicants must fill out FAFSA and demonstrate documented financial need. The award amount is based on estimated education costs at the student's selected institution.
Teaching And Education-Related GrantsState and federal grants are available to West Virgina students who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching. Some teaching grants are specific to a certain field of study.
Teaching American History GrantSpecific to the field of American history and contingent on financial need. For additional information on this grant go to the state's website.
West Virginia & U.S. Department of Education
Several grants and scholarships are available. Some require an education-related major as a minimum requirement, while others are specific to a field of study. Contact information:West Virginia Department of Education
1018 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone number: (304) 558-0699
West Virginia Regional GrantsSome grants are distributed in certain communities in West Virginia. Here is a selection of those available.
Webster County Fund
Since 2005 this fund has been responsible for distribution of over $26,000 in grants within this community. Grants are geared towards residents of Webster County covering several fields including culture and heritage, arts, park and recreation, education, beautification and health and human services.
Other regional sources include The Ross Foundation, Sisters of Saint Joseph Charitable Fund and Peoples Bancorp Foundation (specific to areas where the bank has locations in West Virgina who meet financial requirements). Your local Chamber of Commerce will have information on community or regional grants that may be applied for educational purposes.
Other Grants Available To West Virgina StudentsMinority (Hispanic Heritage Foundation, American Indian College Fund, United Negro College Fund, etc.), women (Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Sunshine Lady Foundation, American Association of University Women, etc.) and other grants targeted to certain groups and fields of study (federal and state sources) are available to West Virginia students who meet the requirements.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity GrantAvailable to undergraduate students falling within the lowest income bracket. Pell Grant recipients are given preference.
Academic Competitiveness GrantAvailable to first, second year undergraduates. Applicants must be eligible for a Pell and meet academic achievement levels.
How Grant Award Is DeterminedSeveral factors are taken into consideration during the process of determining eligibility for a state grant in West Virgina. These factors are:
General Formula For Grant Awards
- Federal need analysis (FNA) parent contribution multiplied by 115.2 percent
- Federal need analysis of Expected Family Contribution multiplied by 81.6 percent (independent student w/o dependents)
- Federal need analysis of Expected Family Contribution multiplied by 103.2 percent (independent student w/ dependents)
- Tuition plus fees assessed to the student by the institution
- Standard allowance set by West Virgina state legislature applicable to room, board, books and related supplies and miscellaneous expenses
Students and parents are expected to share the overall responsibility of higher education expenses. Financial aid in the form of a grant is designed to assist students and their families pay the difference between expected contributions and the actual fees associated with the student's education.
The calculations used for the total cost of attendance to an institution of higher learning in the state of West Virgina vary greatly depending on the college or university the student is attending. In general the cost of attendance is based on:
- Tuition and fees including room and board
- Cost of books and related supplies
- Transportation expenses
- Reasonable amount allowed for personal expenses
- Overall family income and assets *
- Number of children in the family
- Number of children expected to attain higher education
- Private and/or institutional resources
Parental ContributionThis part of the grant award is based on a set amount parents are expected to be able to contribute based on their assessed financial situation. Each grant establishes a percentage for expected parental/family contribution.
Student ContributionThis part of the grant award is based on what the student is expected to able to contribute based on their assessed financial situation. Each grant establishes a percentage subtracting expected parental/family contribution.
- Apply for as many grants as you qualify for to increase odds of acceptance
- Apply early as some grants have a long waiting period
- Additional assistance may be available to help cover student and family responsibilities, but will not count against grant eligibility in most cases
- Contact the financial aid office at your chosen institution for exact grant requirements and forms