Financial Aid and Student Loans in West Virginia

The good news about going to college in West Virginia? It’s one of the more affordable states in the country in terms of education costs, with tuition and fees of four-year colleges in the state averaging $24,268. 

Not that everyone can afford that, of course. While the U.S. Government offers grants, loans, and funding to students throughout the country, some states also have local initiatives that provide additional opportunities to their residents. In West Virginia, residents have access to a range of state-specific scholarships and grants.

If you’re looking to make your education more affordable, you will most likely need to employ a creative approach that takes advantage of multiple funding streams. By sourcing money from grants, scholarships, and loans, you can make a college degree much more accessible. The sooner you start planning, the more success you will likely have in reducing the cost of your education.

In addition to applying for scholarships, grants, and loans, you also need to be sure you meet all deadlines for your college applications. 

What Scholarship Programs Does West Virginia Have?

If you want to apply for a scholarship in West Virginia, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of state-specific scholarships available to West Virginia residents. Let’s explore the details below:

West Virginia Engineering, Science, and Technology Scholarship

The West Virginia Engineering, Science, and Technology Scholarship promotes the study of the hard sciences, technology, and engineering. Eligible students can receive up to $3,000 in annual funding towards the cost of their education and eligible fees.

While preference is given to West Virginia residents, any U.S. citizen is able to apply for this scholarship.  To apply for the West Virginia Engineering, Science, and Technology Scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
  • Current or future enrollment in science, technology, or engineering degree
  • Be committed to pursuing at least one year of work in the related field after graduation

If you do not decide to work in your related field after you graduate from college, you will need to pay back the scholarship money.

PROMISE Scholarship

The PROMISE Scholarship gets awarded to students in West Virginia that exhibit academic excellence. If you’re a robust academic performer, you might be eligible to apply for this loan.

You may apply for the PROMISE Scholarship as a high school senior, and you can receive up to $4,750 in funding for university-related expenses.

Fortunately, you do not need to be attending a state university to receive this scholarship. It is available to both state and private college attendees. To be eligible, you must meet a range of academic requirements, including:

  • GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
  • SAT total score of 1,100, with 520 in Math and 530 in Reading and Writing
  • ACT minimum of 22, with a minimum of 20 in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science
  • Class credit requirements
  • West Virginia residency

There are additional requirements that may vary depending on homeschooling and other variables. Make sure to check the scholarship’s website before applying.

Each year, the West Virginia State Legislature will determine the amount of funding that gets provided to the PROMISE scholarship. It means that the number of scholarships awarded will vary depending on the year.

Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship

If you’re planning on pursuing a career in the West Virginia public school system as a teacher, you might be interested in applying for the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship. The scholarship, which offers up to $5,000 in annual funding, is intended to provide financial aid to students that want to teach in the state’s public school system.

When you apply, you will need to demonstrate your intention to become a teacher in West Virginia. Your academic record will also play a significant role in your eligibility. The good news is the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship does not appear to get linked to the income of your family, thus allowing more students to apply for it.

Unlike other scholarship programs, which target students as they first begin studying at college, the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship usually provides funds to students who are near the end of their studies. Many successful applicants are either graduate students or in their last two years of undergraduate study.

University-Specific Scholarships

In addition to the West Virginia scholarships mentioned above, your college may also provide scholarships to eligible students. Obtaining a scholarship from your college is one of the best ways to significantly reduce the financial burden of your education.

Contact an admissions officer or search your desired college’s website to find out more information about their in-house scholarship programs.

What Grant Programs Does West Virginia Have?

Fortunately, West Virginia is a state that has multiple grants for its residents. There are plenty of states in the country that only offer access to federal funding options, so these state-specific grant initiatives are a huge advantage for West Virginia college students.

Let’s explore the grants in more detail:

West Virginia Higher Education Grant

If you are in West Virginia and exhibit financial need, you might be eligible for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant. The grant can provide you with up to $2,700 in annual funding. You must have a high school degree or equivalent qualification to be eligible for the funding.

There are other requirements, including a residency in West Virginia, financial need, academic promise, U.S. citizenship, no previous bachelor’s degree, and more. While you must be a West Virginia resident to receive this grant, you can still attend a Pennsylvania college and secure funding.

Unfortunately, you will only be able to access this funding for three years after your initial year of funding. If you take a considerable amount of time to graduate, you might not be able to rely on this grant for the duration of your studies.

Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student Grant

If you’re an adult that wishes to pursue part-time education, you can apply for funding that can assist with testing, tuition, and other eligible costs. The purpose of this grant is to promote further education in adults that may not otherwise have the financial means to go back to school.

The maximum amount of money that students may receive is $2,000 per year. The number of grants awarded also depends on annual funding provided by the West Virginia state government.

Federal Grants

If you’re not eligible for any of the grants available in West Virginia, or you need even more funding to make your education affordable, there are federal grants available to students throughout the country. Pell Grants and other income-linked grants can help you access thousands of dollars for your school.

To apply for this type of federal grant, start by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You will need to meet income requirements to be eligible for many federal grants.

What Student Loans Programs Does West Virginia Have?

Unfortunately, you won’t find any West Virginia student loan programs. Residents of the state will need to access the same type of student loans as other borrowers around the country. Let’s explore your options below:

Federal student loans

Prospective West Virginian students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in West Virginia

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While w

e’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In West Virginia?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in West Virginia that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Alderson Broaddus UniversityNoNoNoNo3557
Appalachian Bible CollegeNoNoNoNo4985
Bethany College (West Virginia)NoNoNoNo3470
Bluefield State CollegeNoNoNoNo2665
Concord UniversityNoNoNoNo3864
Davis & Elkins CollegeNoNoNoNo4172
Fairmont State UniversityNoNoNoNo3665
Glenville State CollegeNoNoNoNo3265
Marshall UniversityNoNoNoNo4672
Ohio Valley UniversityNoNoNoNo4662
Shepherd UniversityNoNoNoNo4865
University of CharlestonNoNoNoNo4759
West Liberty UniversityNoNoNoNo4771
West Virginia State UniversityNoNoNoNo2959
West Virginia UniversityNoNoYesYes6080
West Virginia University Institute of TechnologyNoNoNoNo3463
West Virginia Wesleyan CollegeNoNoNoNo4974
Wheeling Jesuit UniversityNoNoYesYes5664
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