Looking to go back to school for a short-term training program or your associate degree? The idea of paying for it can be daunting, especially if you are juggling a family, debt or any lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But bettering yourself through education can lead to a job, higher pay or a more rewarding career. You are worth investing in.
Aside from federal financial aid and grants, there are several statewide initiatives that can help you pay for school.
Here are a few them:
G3: Get a Skill, Get a Job, Get Ahead
The Governor’s Get a Skill, Get a Job, Get Ahead statewide G3 initiative provides an opportunity for any Virginian to earn a college credential that meets critical employer demands.
G3 is a last-dollar grant for eligible students after other grant aid is applied. Funding is available for either credit or non-credit programs. To be eligible for credit programs, applicants must be eligible for federal and state aid and must apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA each award year, and submitting all required To-Do List items.
G3 is a limited pool of funds for students enrolled at least half-time in one of the eligible G3 credit or non-credit programs and will be awarded on a first-come/first-served basis as eligibility is determined.
Awards can cover tuition and mandatory fees, a Student Support Incentive Grant (SSIG) of up to $2,250 per year and a textbook stipend of $500 for full-time attendance, $375 for three-quarter-time and $250 for half-time enrollment. Additional details about G3 Grants can be found here.
Grant funding through FastForward
Our training is a short-term, low-cost workforce credential grant program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the Commonwealth. FastForward covers two-thirds of the cost of tuition for a wide range of credential programs offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Most FastForward programs take between six and 12 weeks and are built so students can get their education quickly and get hired. FastForward helps students gain the skills they need quickly and affordably, while creating more opportunity for their future.
Re-Employing Virginians (REV) Initiative
This funding expires at the end of 2021, so check now to see if you’re eligible! Virginia residents who are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19 can receive a one-time grant of up to $3,000 to pursue certain eligible programs at their local community college. More information is provided here.
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund
Dislocated workers who are Virginia residents taking at least six eligible credits toward certain stackable credential programs are encouraged to apply for the GEER Fund. Students must complete the federal student aid process and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less derived from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or from an approved income appeal and revised FAFSA.
Grants can provide last-dollar scholarships for tuition, fees, and a $500 book allowance if the costs are not covered by other aid specifically designated for tuition, fees, and/or books.
Where to Go From Here
Reaching out to your local community college’s career coach is a good first step to navigating the many grants and financial aid options available to you. They can help identify the right solutions, guide you through the application process and get you well on your way to the next part of your career journey.
If you are interested in learning more and connecting with a career coach, fill out the contact form on our website.