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PROMISE Scholarship a factor in where students attend college

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Most people in West Virginia know about the PROMISE Scholarship -- or at least those who have graduated high school in the past decade and their parents do. It is awarded to thousands of graduating West Virginia seniors every year. Last year, 9,820 received the award.

For those who don't know, the PROMISE Scholarship is available to any graduating senior in the state who has a 22 composite ACT score, a 20 in each smaller category (such as English or math) and a 3.0 grade point average. If students meet those requirements, they can receive the four-year scholarship of $4,750 to use toward tuition and fees at any college or university in West Virginia.

The scholarship gives students opportunities they may not have had, allowing them a better chance of receiving a college education. Being a PROMISE scholar is a big honor, and the scholars even get a blue cord to wear during graduation to show they have received the scholarship.

The PROMISE Scholarship was created in hopes that West Virginia students would go to school in-state for their higher education instead of leaving it, as well as stay and work here after they graduate.

Is it actually working as hoped? Does it influence seniors' decisions when choosing a college? Judging from the answers of Scott High School seniors, the answer is yes.

"Yes it changes your decision to go in-state," said Tahnee Thompson.

"Most definitely," added Bethany Buckner.

Richard Pratt said, "I am going in-state because of the PROMISE."

Katelynn Clark was the only student to say it didn't influence her decision. However, that's because "I was going to go in-state anyway," she said.

The PROMISE is a truly great scholarship opportunity for West Virginia high school students. Without it, a lot of students might not be able to further their education. But with it, along with other scholarships and financial aid available, a higher education is much more attainable.

If you think that you are eligible for the PROMISE Scholarship, and you haven't applied yet, contact your school counselor or the financial aid office at the college of your choice immediately. Either should be able to help, but you'll have to act fast. The deadline to apply is March 1. For more information on the PROMISE Scholarship, including a link to the application, visit www.cfwv.com and search for PROMISE Scholarship.


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