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G3 - Get Skilled, Get a Job, Get Ahead

A program which makes tuition-free community college available to low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields. Visit www.vccs.edu/g3 or your local community college's website for more information and updates.

FAQ's about the G3 program

What is the G3 Program and when is it available?

G3 is Virginia’s investment in making community college more affordable for eligible low-income and middle-income citizens who enroll in targeted programs that lead to jobs in high-demand fields. The G3 program went into effect on July 1, 2021.

Who is eligible for the G3 Program?

G3 is a last-dollar program for any Virginia resident who qualifies for in-state tuition and whose family income falls below an identified threshold. Eligible students may enroll in identified programs leading to short-term credentials, certificates, or associate degrees.

To be eligible for G3, an applicant must:

  • Be eligible for Virginia in-state tuition.
  • Receive a total household income less than or equal to four hundred percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This is roughly an income of $100,000 for a family of four.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at a Virginia public community college and in an identified program.
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per semester.
  • Have applied for federal and state financial aid programs for which they may be eligible.

In order to remain eligible for the G3 Program, a student must:

  • Demonstrate progress to complete an associate degree in three years.
  • Maintain a 2.0 grade point average and make satisfactory academic progress.

How does someone apply for G3?

Information about how to apply will be available at any Virginia community college, starting in April 2021. Contact the college for more information.

What does “last-dollar” mean?

A student enrolling in an identified certificate or degree program must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for the program. G3 funds would make up the difference between what financial aid pays for and the cost of tuition, fees, and books for the program.

A student enrolling in an identified short-term credential program must provide documentation of household income or eligibility for federal assistance programs. For eligible students, G3 funds would pay the student’s out-of-pocket tuition costs.

What are the eligible programs?

The eligible programs fall into five targeted career areas that are in high demand in Virginia: Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, and Public Safety.

Each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges will have a list of approved G3 programs in the five targeted career areas. The programs are built as “stackable,” meaning that the program starts with skills training that leads to a certificate with immediate value in the labor market. Because the certificate is part of an associate degree, the student can get a job and return later to “stack” additional certificates on on the pathway to an associate degree.

Does a student have to enroll full-time?

The G3 Program will be available for full- and part-time students. To be eligible, a student must enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester or in an approved short-term program. However, the goal of G3 is to accelerate program completion and employment in a high-demand occupation. To incentivize full-time enrollment, the G3 Program will provide additional financial assistance to students who qualify for full Federal Pell Grants and enroll full-time (12 or more credit hours in fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours in summer). This additional assistance is intended to reduce the number of part-time hours a student has to work so that he or she can spend more time studying.

Are the programs geared more towards two-year associate degrees or shorter-term workforce programs?

Both. An important benefit of G3 is that it recognizes the different pathways to success depending on a person’s individual needs and circumstances. For some people, a short-term credential or certificate program is the best fit. Others may need a year-long program, and for some a two-year associate degree may be the best fit. What is very important is that each shorter-term program is part of an associate degree pathway, so people can always come back and build on skills and programs already attained.

Is there a timeline for eligibility? Can a student who stops out re-enroll later and still be eligible for G3?

As long as a G3-eligible student continues in the same program pathway, he or she has up to three years to complete an associate degree.

A student who completes a certificate and stops out to work will still be eligible for G3 if he or she returns within one year. After returning, the student will have two years to complete the associate degree.

What is the return on investment for Virginia?

According to data from the Virginia Community College System, completers of these programs gain 60% in wages on average and double the amount of state taxes they pay.


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