5 minute read

West Virginia Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

West Virginia is one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one was Nevada). It became its own state by seceding from the Confederacy in 1863. Needless to say, it was an important event in the American Civil War. Students interested in studying the American Civil War may find West Virginia a superb place to go to college. Students interested in other areas may also find West Virginia a great place to study. There are 21 public universities and colleges and a number of independent institutions. Students attending any of these post-secondary institutions may qualify for financial assistance.

Who Offers Scholarships and Financial Aid in West Virginia?

  • The U.S. Government offers grants and low-interest loans.
  • West Virginia government offers grants, scholarships, and loans.
  • Individual West Virginia universities and colleges offer scholarships.
  • West Virginia businesses, foundations, and professional organizations offer scholarships.

Grants and Low-Interest Loans from the U.S. Government

Students attending post-secondary institutions in West Virginia may qualify for federal financial aid. To see if you qualify for federal financial aid, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA applications are available January 1, the year before the year in which you need the aid. The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30 the year you need the aid. West Virginia also has a FAFSA state deadline. For priority consideration in West Virginia, submit your FAFSA by March 1. Your best chance of getting all possible aid is to submit your FAFSA application by the earliest deadline.

If you do qualify for federal aid, your school’s financial aid office will decide how much you need and offer you grants and/or loans. You can accept as little or as much as you want.

Grants, Scholarships, and Loans Offered By West Virginia

West Virginia offers several financial aid programs to help students pay for educational expenses. Here is a list of available programs:

Engineering, Science, and Technology Scholarship Program
Full-time resident students studying engineering, science, or technology are eligible for this West Virginia financial aid program. This program was designed to assist students who will graduate with a degree in one of these fields and pursue a career in the field in West Virginia. Students will be required to give one year of service for every year of funding received. Click here to download applications.

Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student Grant
This West Virginia financial aid program offers assistance to students who want to pursue their post-secondary degrees less than full-time. To be eligible for this program, applicants must have been a West Virginia resident for at least 12 months prior to applying. Submit a FAFSA to qualify.

Medical Student Loan
Students studying to be a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D. O.) at Marshall University School of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine or West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine may apply for this loan. Students must have financial need. See your financial aid office for application.

PROMISE Scholarship Program
This West Virginia financial aid program is based on merit and offers students full tuition coverage to attend a university or college in West Virginia. Students may be awarded the equivalent of public school tuition for in-state private institutions as well. Click here for more information and application procedures.

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
This $1,500 scholarship is offered to high school seniors with excellent academic achievement and promise. This award is renewable up to three times. Talk to your high school counselor.

Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship
This West Virginia financial aid program supports students who are pursuing teaching certification for K-12 schools in West Virginia. Awards may go up to $5,000 per year. Only West Virginia residents can apply. Applicants are required to teach for two years at a West Virginia K-12 public school for every year of funding received. Click here for an application.

West Virginia Higher Education Grant
This is a need-based West-Virginia financial aid program. To be considered, submit a FAFSA and an Application for State-Level Financial Aid Programs.

Scholarships Offered By Individual West Virginia Universities and Colleges

West Virginia colleges and universities provide scholarships to help students achieve their goals. Scholarships are based on academic achievement, major, financial need, talent, and some of these criteria together. Merit-based scholarships are usually offered through the admissions office. Students need to apply for admission on time to be considered for these scholarships. Scholarships based on major, financial need, or talent are usually awarded through a school’s financial aid office or through a department office. Check with your financial aid or scholarship office to see what it requires.

Scholarships Offered By West Virginia Businesses, Foundations, and Professional Organizations

Your local community may offer scholarships to help students pay for educational expenses. Check with businesses, foundations, and professional organizations in your area. Here is a list of just a few of the available scholarships in West Virginia:

Association for Women Geoscientists
Award: Several scholarships in the amounts of $500 to $6,000.
Qualifications: Vary depending on scholarship.
Deadline: Varies depending on scholarship.
Application: Click here to download current applications.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation
Award: More than 150 scholarships.
Qualifications: Vary depending on scholarship.
Deadline: Usually in March.
Application: Click here to see the application process and to download a current general application.

West Virginia Press Foundation Scholarship
Award: Scholarship or grant
Qualifications: Applicants must be residents of West Virginia studying or planning to study journalism or a field related to journalism at an accredited post-secondary institution in West Virginia.
Deadline: April 1
Application: Click here to download an application.

Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.
Award: Several scholarships
Qualifications: Vary depending on scholarship. Call the foundation at 304-694-2666 or email info@NCWVFoundation.org for more information.
Deadline: Usually in May.
Application: Click here to download a current application.

Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex Aerospace Education Program
Award: $1,000
Qualifications: West Virginia university students studying aerospace engineering. E-mail aeroeducation@maacinc.com for more info.
Deadline: April 24.

Three Tips to Keep In Mind When Researching West Virginia Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Even though West Virginia has a state FAFSA deadline, many West Virginia universities and colleges may have their own FAFSA deadlines. Check with your school to be sure you don’t miss the deadline.
  • Because almost every West Virginia college and university has a different scholarship application procedure and different deadlines, you should check with your financial aid or scholarship office early. Don’t miss out on scholarships you may qualify for.
  • Remember that it may be easier to win grants that are offered locally instead of those that are offered nationally. National scholarships tend to have more applicants.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles