The West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship (Providing Real Opportunities for Maximizing In-State Student Excellence), administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is a WV PROMISE scholarship program designed especially for the scholars from West Virginia. The WV PROMISE scholarship program provides West Virginia high school graduates a scholarship to a state college or university in West Virginia or an equivalent amount to an in-state private college. The PROMISE scholarship program was begun by Governor Bob Wise and the Legislature in 2001. Annually the program distributes more than $42 million to the various talented minds of the state.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, established for monitoring the educational needs in the West Virginia state, manages the higher education institutes to ensure that the policies are implemented and the smooth functioning of the public policy agenda for the state’s four year colleges and universities. According to the US 2000 Survey, only 14.8% of West Virginia residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree – compared to 24.4% in the US as a whole. Providing various scholarship programs to ensure better access to education for the state students is one of the major objectives of the organization. One such scholarship is the WV PROMISE Scholarship and more than 9,000 students have benefited from this West Virginia PROMISE scholarship in the year 2008-09. The funds for the WV PROMISE scholarship are provided from video lottery and other appropriations.
The PROMISE scholarship requirements are that it’s available to all the High School graduates, Home Schooled students and college students (renewal) from the state of West Virginia. The WV PROMISE scholarship award for a student enrolled in a state institution of higher education shall be equal to the actual tuition and mandatory fee charges or resident students at the institution. Eligible 2010 high school graduates will receive annual awards valued at the lesser of tuition and mandatory fees or $4,750 at the West Virginia public or private college they choose to attend. The list of eligible institutes is available on the website. Out-of-state colleges and universities are not recognized and hence the institutes recognized by the scholarship are limited. The online application opens from November 2009 and needs to be completed before March 01, 2010. The selection process verifies the merit of the applicants and accordingly the deserving applicants are chosen. Various educational qualifications are included for selecting the recipients. The WV PROMISE scholarships can be renewed for eight consecutive semesters and can be transferred from one institute to another as well.
While nearly 73% of the West Virginia students graduate from high-school only 58% of the graduating seniors attend college for further studies. One of the reasons for the lower number is the financial overhead for attending college. Added to the fact that middle income group has limited opportunities for qualifying for low-income scholarships. The need to have the WV PROMISE scholarship for rewarding students is definitely there.
A Merit based PROMISE scholarship ensures that the exceptional performance is recognized and motivated to continue further. The message provided by the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship is pretty clear – earn the opportunity to attend college and work towards “Reaching for Greater Goals”.
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