The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for higher education, is partnering with Regent Education to support Virginia’s legislation that extends state financial aid to more students regardless of citizenship or immigration status, with the exception that holders of F-student, H3-trainee, J-exchange visitor, or M-vocational visas are ineligible. Eligible students must meet the criteria of the new Tuition Equity Provision, which require that the student complete at least two full years of high school in Virginia, graduate in Virginia, and demonstrate that the family has filed Virginia state income taxes for at least two years.
Northam Extends State Financial Aid Eligibility
On June 14, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill 2123 and the coinciding Senate Bill 1387, which made Virginia students meeting the state’s Tuition Equity requirements also eligible for state financial aid beginning in the fall 2022.
SCHEV Operationalizes the Legislation
SCHEV, which makes higher education public policy recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly in such areas as enrollment projections, institutional operational needs, and student financial aid, served as the catalyst to operationalize the new legislation. The state agency researched the market for vendors with experience and a positive track record of delivering this functionality to statewide aid applications for undocumented students. Regent Education had delivered similar functionality on time and on budget in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and at individual institutions in Texas.
Regent Education Powers the Solution
Regent Access delivers an online state financial aid application experience that mirrors the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) experience, with an intuitive interview format, personalized skip logic, integrated help, and Spanish translations. This streamlined, automated solution makes it easy for undocumented students to apply for state aid and minimizes the time and resources required to process applications.
“This partnership is another example of ways in which Virginia is extending equitable access to qualified students. Making financial aid available to these students will lead to more students gaining the credentials they need to improve not only their lives but those of generations to come,” said Peter Blake, Executive Director of SCHEV.
“Regent Education was proud to support the recent legislation and work with SCHEV to deliver a state financial aid process that mirrors the FAFSA experience. We’re especially pleased to help enable Virginia’s undocumented students to be one step closer to attaining a higher education degree,” said Jim Hermens, CEO of Regent Education.
The Virginia Access solution is projected to go live this calendar year.
About The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best state for education by 2030. For more on this statewide strategic plan, visit https://schev.edu/TheVirginiaPlan.