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Lumina Awards Grant in Support of Virginia Plan for Higher Education

by Elizabeth Liverman | Dec 14, 2015
For Immediate Release: July 07, 2015

RICHMOND — According to the Lumina Foundation, Virginia gets it. The Commonwealth is one of ten states identified by Lumina that understands the need to increase overall degree attainment by reaching underserved populations. The result is a $50,000 grant that will focus on three main areas: analyzing the data to determine where gaps in attainment occur; identifying and promoting affordable pathways and student success; and reviewing existing financial policies to identify new opportunities. The grant will be administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and is based on The Virginia Plan for Higher Education (the statewide strategic plan for higher education) 

Based on data from 2013, Virginia has the second highest rate of degree completion for students who start at four-year public colleges and universities. This is an impressive achievement, but increasing educational attainment for all students remains a challenge. “The only way the Commonwealth can reach its goals of postsecondary educational attainment is to keep students in the pipeline,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton. “That means determining why some students either don’t consider or don’t complete education after high school. The Lumina grant supports this vital work and proves that our efforts are being recognized nationally.”

While SCHEV will administer the grant, the work it funds will be a joint effort among a number of stakeholders. "This grant is built upon two main goals from the Virginia Plan for Higher Education; access for all and optimizing student success," said Peter Blake, Director of SCHEV. "Just like the Plan itself, the success of this work plan depends on collaboration among a number of stakeholders and subject experts that cross agency and institutional lines."

The Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.

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.

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Government Relations and Communications, at or (804) 225-2627.

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