Listen Now: Morning News

Higher ed boards take steps to help students impacted by coronavirus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The governing boards of the state’s higher education systems are taking steps to help students keep their current grant and scholarships due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Sarah Armstrong Tucker

Both the state Higher Education Policy Commission and state Council of Community and Technical Colleges approved measures Friday that will waive certain GPA requirements and extend previous deadlines.

Sarah Armstrong Tucker, interim chancellor of the HEPC and chancellor of the state CTC system, said the changes on colleges campuses caused by the coronavirus and the closing of public schools is not the fault of students.

“We don’t want to penalize them for something they have no control over,” Tucker said.

The boards voted Friday to waive the GPA requirement for students to renew the Promise Scholarship, Higher Education Grant, Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship, and Engineering, Science & Technology Scholarship from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

Tucker said the changes make sense.

“it didn’t seem fair to tell a Promise Scholar, ‘I’m sorry that all of these changes have happened at the end of your semester that have impacted your learning and your GPA but you’re not going to get that money next fall,'” Tucker said.

Tucker said the change is only for this semester’s GPA and will not be ongoing. Most of the state’s colleges and universities have decided to finish their semester with online courses.

Also approved Friday, a moving of the application date of the state Higher Education needs-based grant from April 15 to May 15. Tucker said students are having trouble filling out the necessary forms because many of them don’t have access to their high school counselors.

There’s also a change for high school seniors applying for the Promise Scholarship. Tucker said they will be allowed to take the June SAT and the June or July ACT.

“We can extend that deadline so students can still get the Promise Scholarship,” Tucker said. “We know they have worked their entire high school career to get them and we don’t want to close that off just because ACT and SAT tests have been cancelled.”

More News

DOH, police eyeing fast drivers through work zone areas more closely
Work zone areas are restricted to 55 mph for motorists.
March 22, 2023 - 9:35 pm
Local and federal law enforcement crack down on largest meth bust in state
More than 200 pounds of methamphetamine was seized.
March 22, 2023 - 9:15 pm
New professional basketball team in the Kanawha Valley announces season lineup
The Grind gathers at the Marriot for news conference to announce their first home game on April 1
March 22, 2023 - 3:45 pm
Officials, including new superintendent, say scrutiny of State Police will continue
Gov. Jim Justice announced the resignation of Jan Cahill as State Police superintendent this week.
March 22, 2023 - 3:27 pm