Virginia Scholarships and Financial Aid
Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
Virginia’s nickname is the “Old Dominion,” but it is sometimes called the “Mother of Presidents” because eight presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were born there. The state has a number of post-secondary institutions, including the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and the University of Virginia. Students attending or planning to attend these two schools or any other Virginia post-secondary institutions may be eligible to receive financial assistance.
Who Offers Scholarships and Financial Aid in Virginia?
- U.S. Government – grants and loans
- Virginia state government – grants, scholarships, and loans
- Individual Virginia universities and colleges — scholarships
- Virginia foundations, professional organizations, and businesses — scholarships
Financial Aid from the U.S. Government
To qualify for financial aid from the U.S. Government, you must have financial need. Anyone interested in federal financial aid needs to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The national deadline for FAFSA applications is usually June 30 the year you need the aid. Your school may also have its own FAFSA deadline, so be sure you check with your financial aid office.
FAFSA applications are available online January 1, the year before the year you need the aid. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible since funds do run out. If you do qualify for federal aid, your financial aid office will decide how much you need based on our Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which was calculated using information you reported on the FAFSA. You will be offered grants and/or loans and can accept as much or as little as you wish.
Grants, Scholarships, and Loans Offered By Virginia
Virginia offers a large number of programs to assist resident students with educational expenses. Here is a list of available programs:
Granville P. Meade Scholarship
Virginia high school students with high academic achievement are eligible to receive this scholarship. Talk to your high school counselor or principal.
College Scholarship Assistance Program
This need-based state aid program assists Virginia resident students who have financial need. File a FAFSA on time to qualify.
Virginia Commonwealth Award Program
This need-based Virginia financial aid program supports students who have financial need. Contact your financial aid office for more information.
Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program
This need-based assistance program was designed to encourage financially needy students to attend post-secondary institutions.
Virginia high school students may be eligible to receive one of 24 $1,000 scholarships. Students may use the award at any 4-year university in the U.S. Talk to your counselor or your principal.
Higher Education Teacher Assistance Program
Students who are enrolled in teacher certification programs are eligible for this program. Preference will be given to students preparing to teach subjects with shortages of teachers in Virginia. Talk to your school and your certification department.
Two-Year College Transfer Grant
Community College students planning to continue their education at 4-year universities may receive up to $2,000. To apply, submit your application for admission along with your transcript.
Virginia Part-Time Assistance Program
Virginia students attending a Virginia community college less than full-time may be eligible for this financial aid program. Talk to your financial aid office.
Tuition Grant Program
Foster children who were in the custody of social services and are planning to attend or are attending community colleges are eligible to apply for this scholarship. File a FAFSA and submit an application to the community college you are planning to attend.
Child Care Scholarship Program
This Virginia financial aid program provides assistance to Virginia students who are pursuing careers in child care centers. For more information call the Virginia Department of Social Services at (866) 636-1608.
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
Children between 16 and 29 years of age or spouses of military service members who were killed, MIA, POW, or permanently disabled in action are qualified to apply for this financial aid program. Military service members must have been residents of Virginia at their time of service. Click here= for more information.
Virginia Tuition Assistance Program
This Virginia financial aid program provides assistance to Virginia residents who are attending or planning to attend private post-secondary institutions. Students may not be studying for religious purposes.
Senior Citizens Tuition Waiver
Virginia students who are 60 years or older may be eligible to receive this waiver. Only students attending public institutions in Virginia qualify. Click here for more information and talk to your admissions office.
Shipyard Workers Program
Tidewater Community College offers this full tuition and fee coverage to Virginia students who work full-time at eligible shipyards in Virginia. Click here for more information.
Soil Scientist Program
Virginia Tech students majoring in soil science may be eligible for this scholarship. Call Virginia Tech at (540) 231-6300.
VDOT Engineer Scholarship Program
Engineer students who are juniors or seniors in an ABET-accredited civil engineering program are eligible to apply for this program. Students receive a $3,500 stipend each semester for educational expenses and receive real-world job experience.
The following programs are also available to non-residents:
Virginia Army National Guard Tuition Assistance Program
Members of the Virginia Army National Guard may be eligible to receive up to full tuition. Contact the Department of Military Affairs at (434) 298-6290 or click here.
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
Students studying science, technology, engineering, or math who are interested in a career in aerospace may apply for this program. Click here for more information.
Virginia Teacher Scholarship/Loan Program
Students who are pursuing teacher certification in subjects with a shortage of teachers in Virginia may be eligible to participate in this program. Click here for more information.
Scholarships Offered By Individual Virginia Universities and Colleges
Individual Virginia universities and colleges offer scholarships to their students. Scholarships may be based on merit, need, major, talent, or any combination of these things. Universities and colleges usually have different application procedures, so check with your school to see how it would like its students to apply. Some schools require a general application for almost all scholarships while others require separate applications.
Other Virginia Scholarships – Foundations, Professional Organizations, and Businesses
Here is a list of just a few of the scholarships that are offered by Virginia foundations, professional organizations, and businesses:
Virginia Health Information Management Association (VHIMA) Scholarships
Qualifications: Only Virginia residents or students are eligible to apply. Applicants must currently be enrolled in baccalaureate programs that will lead to the RHIA assessment. Applicants are also required to have a 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: Usually at the end of May.
Application: Click here for an application.
Virginia Food and Wine Foundation
Award: $1,000 scholarships (listed in April on website)
Qualifications: Students must be studying wine or culinary arts.
Deadline: Usually in April.
Application: See foundation homepage for current application.
Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution
Award: Two Virginia DAR scholarships ($1,000 for first place and $500 for second place), two American History Scholarships (same amount), and two Virginia Nursing Scholarships (same amount).
Qualifications: See individual scholarships.
Deadline: February 1.
Application: See DAR homepage to download applications.
Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants
Award: Five scholarships up to $1,500 each.
Qualifications: Minority students who are enrolled in an accounting program at accredited post-secondary institutions in Virginia. For more information click here.
Deadline: Usually in January.
Application: Click here to download an application.
Virginia State Bar Law in Society Essay Contest
Award: First place receives $1,750 and a trip to Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting; second place receives $1,500; third place receives $1,250; honorable mentions receive $100.
Qualifications: Participants must be Virginia high school students, 19 years old or younger. Essays cannot be longer than 1,000 words.
Deadline: First week of February.
Application: Full details are available on the Virginia State Bar web site
Three Things to Keep In Mind About Virginia Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Many states have their own FAFSA deadlines, but since Virginia doesn’t have a deadline, check with your school to see what its deadline is. To be sure you receive all possible aid, you should apply by your school’s priority deadline.
- Virginia offers a large number of state programs to assist students who are attending post-secondary institutions within its borders. Make sure you are aware of which ones you qualify for.
- When applying for scholarships from foundations, professional organizations, and businesses, remember to start local. Local scholarships may be easier to win than national ones.
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