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Governor McAuliffe announces new spring College Nights

by Greg Weatherford | Apr 07, 2017

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2017
Contact:
Gregory Weatherford, (804) 786-2323, GregoryWeatherford@schev.edu


RICHMOND — 
Governor McAuliffe announced today that in order to provide more timely assistance for students applying for college, College Nights are now being offered in the spring at locations across the Commonwealth. 

College Nights help families learn how to navigate the college planning process, including applying for financial aid and avoiding scholarship scams. 

Educational Credit Management Corp., or ECMC,  has sponsored College Nights in Virginia in the fall since 2007. Holding them in spring will give students more time to adequately prepare to submit college applications and apply for scholarships. 

“Ensuring that all of Virginia’s students are both academically and financially prepared for higher education is essential to building a thriving workforce,” said Governor McAuliffe. “As we work with our partners across the Commonwealth to build and sustain the new Virginia economy, resources like College Nights will help more families make the best financial decisions possible and provide our high school seniors with the confidence they need to take on that next big challenge.”

“As we kick off National Financial Literacy Month in April, this is a great time for students and families to consider the important financial decisions that lay ahead,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “Better information about college costs and financial aid can be game changers for students on the path to higher education.”  

With more than $1.3 trillion in student debt nationwide, literacy programs focused on college planning can play a key role in identifying options for families to maximize grants and scholarships and minimize the need for loans. 

“Affordability is a key component of The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, the state’s blueprint for building a stronger Virginia through postsecondary education,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education for  Virginia. “As students and families prepare for life after high school, they need good, reliable information about finances and debt so they can make smart choices.”  

Each College Night event will include a drawing for participating students to receive one of three $500 scholarships. By April 30, ECMC will have awarded a total of $72,000 in scholarships to 144 Virginia high school students.

ECMC College Nights help students “Prepare,” which is the first step in 1-2-3 Go! Virginia’s Three Steps to College initiative. 1-2-3 Go! is designed to guide high school students and families through the three steps to “Go!” to college: prepare, apply, and pay. 

“College is often the first critical milestone in a person’s financial life, and the shape and size of that investment can be determined by how much a family knows about their financial aid options at the outset,” said Paula Craw, vice president of student success and outreach for ECMC. “Governor McAuliffe has shown tremendous leadership in promoting initiatives that increase college access and affordability, and we’re excited to be collaborating with him in those efforts by empowering more students to become prepared to make informed college planning decisions.”

This is the 11th year ECMC has sponsored College Nights events in Virginia. 

Resources:

About 1-2-3 Go!: www.schev.edu/123Go

About ECMC College Nights and locations in Virginia: www.collegenights.org

About ECMC: Educational Credit Management Corp. is a nonprofit corporation with a mission to help students succeed. ECMC works to lower student loan default rates; sponsors college access and success initiatives and financial literacy programs; and provides resources to support student loan borrowers to successfully repay their loans.

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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan: schev.edu/index/statewide-strategic-plan
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