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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

October 3, 2011

SCHEV Offers Free Higher Education Guides to Virginians

RICHMOND — The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is using federal grant money to offer several free higher education booklets to students, parents, school counselors, and access agencies. Both the 2011-12 Opportunities Guides and the “I am the One” College Planner have recently been made available online and in print thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant Program, which is designed to increase the number of students who enter and remain in postsecondary education.

SCHEV collaborated with the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) to produce its national and Virginia-specific Opportunities Guides to help students and their families learn more about financial aid and college preparation. The booklets, which are available in both English and Spanish, explain the various types of federal and state financial aid programs, outline eligibility requirements, and provide a timeline to help students and parents successfully navigate the financial aid process.

The Opportunities Guides have been in production for more than a decade, and are annually made available to Virginia high schools and libraries for large-quantity orders. Interested students and parents can check with their high school counselors or download copies of the guidebook at

SCHEV is also using federal college access grant funds to create and distribute a College Planner for Virginia high school students as part of its ongoing “I am the One” campaign, which empowers students to take charge of their future. The “I am the One” College Planner includes information about coursework and tests for college-bound students, a checklist for each year of high school, and a map highlighting two- and four-year colleges and universities in Virginia.

Eligible Commonwealth schools and college access organizations can order free copies of the “I am the One” College Planner and related incentive materials through October 7 by visiting English and Spanish versions of the “I am the One” College Planner and accompanying Parent Checklists are available for free download at

“SCHEV is committed to helping students and their families explore and prepare for the higher education opportunities available across the Commonwealth,” said Paula Fisher, SCHEV’s College Access Challenge Grant Director. “We are pleased to offer these free college preparation resources to all interested Virginians.”

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency administers the federal College Access Challenge Grant, which is designed by the U.S. Department of Education to promote access to college and increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Government Relations and Communications, at or (804) 225-2627.