Affordable Pathways Grants aims to help college-bound students

RICHMOND – Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe announced a new grant program today that will provide Virginia students with a clearer path to a higher education.

As many as four public two- and four-year colleges will receive the Affordable Pathways grants (up to $140,000 each). However, grant recipients must have a partnership with a Pre-K-12 program. They must also demonstrate how they would use the funds to implement and expand programs that help students save money and earn degrees, certificates or workforce credentials more efficiently.

“These Affordable Pathways grants help ensure that our higher education system is accessible and affordable for all Virginia students and aid our goal to streamline student learning from K-12 to higher learning and workforce training,” said governor Terry McAuliffe. “As we build a new Virginia economy, we will continue to improve degree completion rates and provide opportunities for workers to strengthen their skills so our Commonwealth maintains our competitive edge, both nationally and globally.”

The one-time grants will support programs that make it easier and more affordable for students to earn early college credit and improve completion rates. The grants will target programs that help students who normally have had barriers to education and lead to a degree, certificate or workforce credential.

“Our students thrive when they are given access to clear, efficient pathways to higher education and the workforce,” said Virginia secretary of education Dietra Trent.

“These grants will help reinforce these pathways and ensure continued academic and professional success, especially for students from challenging environments.”

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) will administer the grants and the Fund for Excellence and Innovation will fund them. The General Assembly established the Fund for Excellence and Innovation this year.

“Bridges that connect our primary, secondary and post-secondary institutions are critical to ensure our students succeed in education, find the jobs they need and contribute to their communities,” said G. Gilmer Minor III, chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. “We thank Governor McAuliffe and the leadership of the House of Delegates and Senate for their support in making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030.”

From Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe news release