Virginia Student Grants for College

Finding Grants in Virginia

Virginia has a strong academic tradition, with roots that extend to the founding fathers and American colonialism.  Noted state schools like James Madison University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, College of William and Mary, and University of Richmond offer programs specializing in health care, science, and business.

To assist state students with their academic pursuits, Virginia administers financial aid initiatives that supplement federal assistance.  Explore these Department of Education student assistance efforts, as well as state programs available for needy Virginia college students.

Federal Grants for Virginia ResidentsVirginia college grants

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is disbursed to Virginia students with financial need. Pell Grants are given primarily to undergraduate students, but some post-baccalaureate students are eligible for Pell funding.

The maximum amount awarded to Federal Pell Grant participants is $5,500 each academic year.  The first step toward landing Pell, and other federal grants, is to file a standard application called the FAFSA.  Using data about your family, and your financial resources, the Department of Education determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Your EFC provides the basis for monetizing Pell awards and other aid you might receive.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is awarded to students that are also eligible for Pell Grants. The FSEOG is intended for students with high levels of financial need, and works in conjunction with Pell funding to provide adequate financial assistance for eligible students.

The amount awarded to each participant is dependent on that student’s particular level of need. Grants range from $100-$4,000, and are renewable for students who maintain eligibility requirements.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

Virginia students must first be eligible for Pell Grants to be considered for ACG awards. The program is a federal initiative designed to keep high school graduates focused on higher education, and to create opportunities for students who maintain rigorous standards in forward-thinking subjects like math, science, computers and other tech-heavy disciplines.

Freshmen and sophomores are eligible to apply for ACG funding worth as much as $1000 to each recipient. Qualifying enrollment is either part-time or full-time, and GPA standards of at least 3.0,on a 4.0 scale, are required for participation.


This grant program picks-up where ACG leaves-off, by providing similar financial assistance for STEM-savvy college students in their junior and senior years. The renewable grant has a maximum value of $4,000, and can be renewed annually. Awards are reserved for students enrolled in math, science, engineering, technology, foreign language, and computer science courses. Participants must maintain a 3.0 GPA to stay eligible for SMART Grants.

Teach Grant Program

TEACH grants are designated for students enrolled in educational programs that prepare them to become teachers.  The grants pay up to $4,000 annually. Congress created this program to encourage teachers to teach in certain low-income areas, so funding applies to undergraduate or graduate programs. This grant does not have to be repaid, provided the graduate agrees to teach for a period of four years, at a designated facility, within the first eight years following graduation.

Graduates that do not fulfill the teaching requirement will be required to pay this money back, when it automatically converts to an Unsubsidized Loan.

State Grants for Virginia Residents

Virginia Commonwealth Award Program

This state program furnishes need-based grants to undergraduates, and graduate-level students. Eligible undergraduate students are required to attend approved Virginia colleges and universities.  Graduate participants are permitted to attend in and out-of-state institutions.

Undergraduates with financial need benefit from Virginia Commonwealth Awards, with the highest levels of financial assistance going to the state students who show the greatest need.  Eligibility requirements for Commonwealth Awards are similar to other financial aid programs:

  • Resident of Virginia
  • Two or four year college or university student
  • Half-time student (minimum)
  • Working toward a degree or technical certificate
  • Display financial need paying for college
  • US citizenship

Applications and evaluations are undertaken by individual participating colleges and technical schools, so IHE financial aid offices have the most current information about programs available at your school.

Awards are renewable with a timely filed FAFSA, each year. Amounts disbursed are based on cost of attendance and financial need. Applications can be obtained through the financial aid office at your college.

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program

The State of Virginia helps college-aged kids pay for school . The VGAP  incentive gives primary and secondary school students a reason to reach for higher education – despite economic limitations.

VGAP awards cover full tuition, books and other school expenses for some students, while others receive at least the cost of tuition. To qualify for VGAP, applicants are:

  • Accepted at a Virginia school
  • Enrolled in an approved program
  • Residents of the state of Virginia
  • U.S. Citizens
  • In financial need
  • Maintaining minimum cumulative GPA standards of 2.5
  • High School graduates
  • Dependents, for FAFSA application status

Participants remain eligible when a minimum 2.0 GPA standard is maintained, and satisfactory academic progress requirements are met.

Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant

This state grant program generates valuable annual tuition assistance for full-time Virginia students attending private colleges and universities within the state. The State Council of Higher Education requires these standards to be met for applicants seeking VTAG funding:

  • Resident of Virginia
  • Attend private college
  • Attend accredited school
  • Enroll at in-state institution of higher education
  • Major in non-theological discipline
  • Maintain full-time college enrollment
  • Attend eligible institution, including Hollins University, Hampton University, Bluefield College and approximately 30 other participating colleges.

Undergraduates and graduate students are eligibleto  earn varying amounts, when qualifications are maintained. Undergraduates are eligible for as much as $2800 each, while graduate students each qualify for around $1300.

Earning TAG money requires Virginia residency  It is not intended for non-residents living in the state for the purpose of attending college.  Financial aid offices and high school guidance departments provide further information about participating schools, which are generally, members of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia.

Ferrum College Tuition Assistance Grant

These grants disburse $2,000 each to Franklin County High School graduates or Franklin County residents who are undertaking undergraduate education at Ferrum College.

Residents of Virginia qualify when they show at least one year of residency prior to attending college at Ferrum.

Virginia Higher Education Teacher Assistance Program

Virginia stimulates enrollment by offering incentives for students choosing careers in education.  The grant is designed to encourage more Virginia teachers to remain in the state following graduation. Qualified applicants are enrolled full-time and demonstrate financial need. Grant amounts vary, but are intended to cover tuition and fees. Furthermore, preference is given to those attending colleges located within teacher shortage areas.

Virginia War Orphans Education Program

This grant program provides financial assistance for surviving children of Virginia War Veterans. Parents who have served in the military and are disabled or deceased, are recognized with tuition incentives for their children. Qualified applicants for this grant are be between the ages of 16-24.

The grant is renewable for tuition payments equivalent to 48 months of college education. More information can be obtained by contacting:  Department of Veteran’s Services,270 Franklin, Road. Room 503 Poff Federal Building Roanoke, Va. 24011-2215


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