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NEWS RELEASE

Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
KirstenNelson@schev.edu
For Immediate Release

July 19, 2006

SCHEV to Co-Host ACG/SMART Grant Training Event

RICHMOND —The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) will co-host a training event for financial aid officers, registrars, and other interested college personnel on Friday, July 21, 2006 in the Dickinson Building at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

The drive-in event, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., features presenter G. Kay Jacks, the General Manager for FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services for Federal Student Aid (FSA) at the U.S. Department of Education, who will speak about two new federal grants. In addition, Lee Andes, Assistant Director for Financial Aid at SCHEV, will discuss the new Virginia requirement that in-state students who enroll in a public four-year institution after August 1, 2006 will be assessed a surcharge upon satisfactorily completing 125% of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree .

Ms. Jacks will provide details about the Academic Competitiveness grant program, part of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005, which provides two types of grants for certain Pell Grant-eligible college students. The Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant will provide up to $750 for first-year college students and up to $1,300 for second-year college students who have successfully completed a rigorous secondary school program as recognized by the Secretary of Education. The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant will be awarded to third- and fourth-year college students who major in mathematics, science, technology, engineering, or critical foreign languages. The funds are available beginning in July for students enrolling in college for the 2006-07 academic year.

“SCHEV is pleased to partner with VASFAA in their efforts to help Virginia college personnel learn about these important new federal aid programs, especially from such a knowledgeable and involved individual as Kay Jacks,” says Daniel J. LaVista, Executive Director of SCHEV. “It is a wonderful opportunity to give our committed college professionals additional financial resources to help students, particularly those interested in science and math, attend and succeed at Commonwealth colleges and universities.”

All interested college personnel are welcome to attend the meeting. Though there is no charge, all interested parties are asked to send an email with the subject heading “ACG Training” to LeeAndes@schev.edu no later than noon on Thursday, July 20, 2006. Please indicate the names of attendees, as well as their institutional affiliation and campus office.

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues. Additional information can be found on the SCHEV web site at www.schev.edu.

VASFAA is an organization of individuals who administer financial aid or are otherwise active in a financial aid-related profession. Their mission is to promote the professional growth and collaboration of members in order to serve fairly the needs of students, families, and institutions in matters related to financial and informational resources that support students’ postsecondary education goals.

For more information, contact Kathleen Kincheloe, Assistant Director of Communications, at KathleenKincheloe@schev.edu or (804) 786-2323.