Virginia Grants and Scholarship Programs

The state of Virginia (VA) provides numerous opportunities for financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships. The grant and scholarship programs are a source of “free” money for VA residents pursuing a higher education at VA colleges and universities. Awards may be based on need, merit, or specific careers.

There are three general eligibility requirements, which are basic for all VA grants and scholarships. These requirements include: 1) an applicant must be a US citizen; 2) an applicant must be a permanent resident of Virginia, not residing there solely to attend college; and 3) an applicant must attend a VA college or university.

Below is a list of the four major VA grants followed by a number of popular VA scholarships available.

Virginia Commonwealth Award Program (CA)

Virginia Commonwealth Award Program is a need-based grant. Awards to undergraduates are proportional to the student’s need, so those students with the greatest need receive the largest grant amounts. Awards range from $500 to $3,500.

Eligible student applicants must:

  • Be US citizen and a permanent VA resident.
  • Have full-time or at least half-time enrollment at a public VA college or university.
  • Be working towards the first undergraduate degree, either an associate or a baccalaureate degree.
  • Demonstrate a financial need.
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have results sent to the Financial Aid Office of the participating institution.
  • Reapply annually and continue to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Continuously achieve passing grades and satisfactory academic progress.

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program is both a merit and need-based undergraduate grant program. Grant awards range from $400 to $5,000. The largest awards go to the neediest students. Awards are renewable for an additional three years.

Eligible student applicants must:

  • Be US citizen and a permanent VA resident.
  • Have graduated from a VA high school, with a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Be enrolled full-time or at least half-time at a two-year or four-year public VA institution.
  • Be pursuing the first undergraduate degree.
  • Demonstrate a financial need.
  • Must be classified as a dependent student for federal financial aid purposes.
  • File FAFSA and have results sent to the Financial Aid Office of the participating institution.
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA during college studies.

Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG)

The Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program is neither a need-based nor merit grant. This grant program is intended for any students attending private VA colleges and universities. The student’s financial information is not required nor a specific GPA. All eligible applicants, who submit their applications “on time,” will receive a grant award from the available funds. Any late eligible applicants are put on a wait list.

The award amounts are based on the number of eligible applicants and the amount of funds appropriated annually by the VA General Assembly. An average undergraduate grant could total as much as $11,000 over a 4-year course of study. Graduate award amounts tend to be smaller. As long as the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements, the grant awards are automatically renewed each year.

Eligible student applicants:

  • Must be US citizen and permanent VA resident.
  • Must be enrolled in an accredited private, nonprofit VA college or university.
  • Must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Undergraduate students can be enrolled in any field of study, except religious or theological studies.
  • Beginning in 2009-2010, graduate students are limited to health related fields of study.
  • Must submit initial application by July 31, 2010 deadline.
  • Can obtain applications from Financial Aid Office of participating college or university.
  • Must continue to meet eligibility requirements for automatic renewals.

For a list of participating colleges, go to the website.

College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP)

College Scholarship Assistance Program is a need-based grant. It provides funds for low-income students, with a considerable financial need, enrolled in either public or private VA institutions. Grant awards range from $500 to $3,500.

Eligible student applicants must:

  • Be US citizen and domicile VA resident.
  • Be full-time, or at least half time, undergraduate students.
  • Be enrolled in a program leading to the first associate or bachelor’s degree, not a second degree.
  • Demonstrate financial need and academic motivation.
  • Have an expected family contribution equal to less than one-half of the total cost of education.
  • File FAFSA form and have results forwarded to Office of Financial Aid of participating institution.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Reapply annually and continue to meet eligibility requirements.

VA War Orphans Education Program

VA War Orphans Education Program is a scholarship program that provides financial aid to the children of US veterans. This also includes children of service personnel who are deceased, disabled, prisoners of war, or missing in action as a result of any armed conflict since December 6, 1941. Scholarship funds cover tuition and fees for a maximum period of 48 months. Applicants can be ages 16 to 25, full-time college students. In spite of younger ages, high school students are not considered. Applications can be obtained by contacting the VA Dept of Veterans Affairs in Roanoke or by phone at (540) 857-7104.

VA Teacher Scholarship Program

The VA Teacher Scholarship Program was established to help address the teacher shortage in VA elementary and secondary schools. This scholarship program is designed to motivate willing and interested students to pursue studies that will lead to jobs in the critical teacher shortage areas — mathematics, science, foreign language and special education. Students must be full time, enrolled in an eligible K-12 teacher preparation degree program, and nominated by a faculty member. Maximum award is $2,000.

A FAFSA must be completed and results sent to Office of Financial Aid of the participating institution. Eligible students must demonstrate a financial need, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Scholarship awards are not renewable, but students may be nominated again in subsequent years if they remain eligible and funds are available.

VDOT Civil Engineering Scholarship Program

VDOT (VA Department of Transportation) Civil Engineering Scholarship Program is open to Civil Engineering majors enrolled in VA colleges or institutions. This scholarship program offers civil engineering students the unique opportunity to earn scholarship funds while gaining valuable on-the-job experience. All Civil Engineer Scholarship recipients spend their summers working in a challenging and interesting VDOT position. All students work directly with a program manager to ensure their work experience contributes to their studies, career goals, and development needs. The scholarship awards total $3,500 per semester. One caveat — the scholarship funds are to be repaid after completing the degree program by working full-time at VDOT.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Enrollment of junior or senior undergraduate student in an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) approved civil engineering program.
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Maintain VA residency and attend VA college or university.
  • Demonstrate good interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and a positive attitude.
  • After earning a degree, student agrees to work full-time at VDOT for six months for each semester of scholarship funds received in this program.

Lee-Jackson Educational Foundation Scholarship Program

Lee-Jackson Education Foundation Scholarship Program provides college scholarships to high school students for outstanding essays expressing their historical appreciation of two renowned military men, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The essays can cover any aspect of the life of either Lee, Jackson, or both. Outstanding essays are judged with emphasis on writing skill, quality of research, historical accuracy, and clarity.

Scholarships are awarded to VA high school juniors and seniors each year. One $10,000, eight $2,000, and eighteen $1,000 — a total of $44,000 to 27 students. Any junior or senior in a public or private high school or home school can apply. Financial need is not a consideration. Students may obtain an application, along with a complete set of guidelines, from the school principal‘s office.

Granville P. Meade Scholarship Program

Granville P. Meade Scholarship Program provides scholarships to VA high school seniors for attending any VA college or university, either public or private. Because the scholarships are based on both need and merit, applicants will need to demonstrate a financial need, as well as academic achievement. Letters of recommendation are required as evidence of good character and extracurricular activities. $2,000 is awarded each year to five VA students. Interested applicants can obtain applications from their high school principal’s office or guidance counselor.

Southwest Burley Tobacco Scholarship Program

The Southwest Burley Tobacco Scholarship Program provides scholarships to barley tobacco growers, quota holders, or direct descendants (spouse, children) of tobacco producers and workers during the years of 1998-2004. Eligible applicants must have permanent residence in one of fourteen Southwestern VA counties: Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe. Students must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program. Awards are based on merit, with the highest GPA being awarded first. The scholarships pay a maximum of $2,000 for full-time VA students.

Karen B. Lewis Career Education Scholarship Program

Karen B. Lewis Career Education Scholarship Program is open to women at least 18 years of age. Eligible women are career-oriented with definite plans to use their education in a business, trade, or industrial occupation. Enrollment in a degree program is not required; however, the scholarship funds must be used within twelve months. Scholarships of $100 to $1,000 are awarded each year for 1 to 10 undergraduate women attending a VA college or university.

Northern Virginia Urban League Scholarship Program

The Northern Virginia Urban League Scholarship Program provides merit-based college scholarships to deserving African American high school seniors. Eligible students must attend a high school in the Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Loudon County, or Prince William County Public School systems. Students must also have cumulative 2.5 GPA, submit three letters of recommendation, and submit an essay to demonstrate communication skills. Each year a maximum of $3,750 is awarded to four African American students, which may be used at any US institution.

VA High School League’s Wachovia Citizenship Award Program

The VA High School League (VHSL) and Wachovia Bank team up for this scholarship program. The Wachovia Citizenship Award offers six high school seniors, three males and three females, scholarships of $1,000 each for studies at a college, university, or trade school. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage students to develop character, leadership, and commitment to community. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding traits of citizenship during their high school career. Only students graduating from a VHSL school will be eligible for the awards. Eligible students must have participated in one or more VHSL activities, such as, creative writing, drama, debate, newspapers, yearbook, leaders conference, and any sports teams.

Eligibility requirements are:

  • High school seniors graduating at end of current school year.
  • Participation in at least one VHSL activity.
  • Demonstration of good citizenship and sportsmanship.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Essay of 500 to 1,000 words.
  • Application postmarked by March 15 each year.

In addition to the VA grants and scholarships listed above, there are other VA scholarships available from local businesses, community organizations, and directly from many colleges and universities. College scholarships are usually awarded to honor students with academic excellence. A Presidential scholarship is one example. These academic scholarships can be as much as $20,000 or more in a four-year period. It is really advantageous to study hard and maintain a high GPA.

For applications and additional information on VA scholarships and grants, be sure to check with the principal’s office or guidance counselor while in high school. After beginning college studies, obtain additional information from the Financial Aid Office.

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13 Comments on “Virginia Grants and Scholarship Programs”

  1. Patricia Wootten wrote:

    I would like to receive information on the following grant:

    VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH AWARD PROGRAM (CA)

    I am also interested in other programs for persons with disabling limitations and women pursuing the sciences.

    Thank you.

  2. CasSandra Ashby wrote:

    I am interested in scholarships.

  3. Antonio Phillips wrote:

    I am most definitely interested in these scholarships but how the world we contact these folkes.

  4. Julie wrote:

    I am in my early 40’s. Spent most of my jr. high and high school years in and out of foster homes and institutions leaving me little education but was fortunate enough to obtain my GED. Then became a mother very early so felt furthuring education was not possible at the time. Lived a very difficult life and have had legal issues that seem to prevent me from even being allowed certain opportunities. My life has been taking a large turn for the better for several years, and now realizing I have no career or opportunity for my future, I am wanting to go to school to even better and change my life and lifestyle. I have applied for pell grant and subsidized…. I have also applied for student loans and still have a remaining balance due. I have no real home, I live in a machine shop, and have no job. I need all the help I can possibly get. Are there any types of grants available to help someone like me???? I need whatever is out there for a person just trying to better themselves and get away from the past wrongs and lifestyle. Please help me.

  5. Brittany wrote:

    I would like to receive more information on the Virginia Commonwealth Award Program, Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program, and also College Scholarship Assistance Program.

  6. Rebecca Neal wrote:

    I would like to have more information on the VA Tuition Assistance Grant Program VTAG and College Scholarship Assistance Program CSAP

  7. Dragana Vekic wrote:

    I would like to recieve more information on College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP), Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP), Virginia Commonwealth Award Program (CA).

  8. Janai wrote:

    I will like more information on the 1st four grant programs listed. I’m an Accounting major & currently at a 3.5 GPA.

  9. Sarah Anderson wrote:

    My child attends a small private christian school and there is no designated guidance counselor. How can I obtain applications for the Granville P. Meade Scholarship Program and the VA HS Leagues Wachovia Citizenship Award Program, if the school does not have them?

  10. Sarah Everhart wrote:

    The financial aid office at my school is not accepting the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)grant. They told me to contact you to apply for it. Any response will be greatly appreciated.

  11. Andy wrote:

    tough terns to be approved, but it seems really wort it to try to be so.

  12. Kids Chance of Virginia wrote:

    Kids Chance of Virginia is accepting scholarship applications for the children of Virginia injured workers. Please apply before March 31, 2013

    http://kidschanceva.org/docs/KCVA_application.doc

  13. Tara Davis wrote:

    I am interested in grants or scholarships for women whom live in VA but attend a school in another state.

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