Archive for October, 2008

One of the duties of the Council of Higher Education is to make budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly. Given the current economic situation, the Council chose to make its higher education budget recommendations in a different manner this year. 


At its October 21 meeting, the Council approved a resolution that focuses on short-term strategies to help students and institutions to respond to Virginia’s economic situation. Council recommendations included:


1. Setting financial aid as the highest priority for any additional funding. This includes aid for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Virginia residents attending the Commonwealth’s nonprofit, private institutions.


2. Giving the institutions the flexibility needed to increase tuition appropriately to help offset any necessary general fund budget reductions—provided that institutions be required to dedicate 5-30% of such tuition increases to need-based financial aid for in-state students.


For more information about the Council’s recommendations, visit our web site.


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It’s never too early or too late to start saving for college. So mark your calendars to find out more about the Virginia College Savings Plan (VCSP). A VCSP representative will be at the Twin Hickory Area Library in Glen Allen to discuss four different 529 plans to help you start preparing financially for college.
Two informational sessions will be offered: Thursday, October 23rd and Thursday, November 13th. Both begin at 7:00 p.m.


For more information call 364-1400 ext. 5.



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A Simplified FAFSA?!?

Could it really happen? According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed news, an easier version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is in the works. The article reveals that U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is unveiling a plan to simplify the process by which students apply for federal aid.


Under her proposal, the FAFSA would be cut from 102 questions to 27, and students would find out before their senior year of high school how much federal financial aid they would qualify for.


Seems to us this would be a great help in combination with existing tools, such as the FAFSA4caster. What are your thoughts on Secretary Spellings’ proposal? Would a simplified FAFSA help more students and their families? 

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