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Press Releases

Virginia Launches Alternative Application for State Financial Aid for Previously Ineligible Students

by Laura Osberger | Jan 06, 2022

Contact: Laura Osberger, (804) 387-5191, lauraosberger@schev.edu

January 6, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                

RICHMOND — Today the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) launched the Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) Application and related web portal at www.VASAapp.org. With this application, Virginia students who are ineligible to complete the federal FAFSA form, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students, now have a way to access state financial aid to help pay for college.

Virginia need-based aid relies on a calculation of a family’s ability to pay. Historically this was accomplished using the federal FAFSA, which produced the Expected Family Contribution or EFC; however, many of these students were ineligible to complete the FAFSA because they are not a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

Interested students should work with their college admissions and/or domicile officers to determine whether they meet the Commonwealth’s domicile or tuition equity requirements. Students would then complete the VASA application so that the institution’s financial aid office can determine eligibility for state need-based aid.

The VASA application came about as a result of the 2021 legislative session, which expanded prior legislation to allow certain previously ineligible students to have access to state financial aid programs beginning in 2022-23. This legislation is one of the signature pieces of education legislation for the Northam administration and was patroned by Delegate Lopez and Senator Boysko.


According to Virginia’s Secretary of Education, Fran Bradford, “The outcome of this legislation is a new tool for obtaining state aid, the benefits of which will reach previously marginalized students far and wide across Virginia. It’s the right solution at the right time, one that makes the dream of attending college a reality for many."


Said SCHEV Director, Peter Blake, “We are proud to offer this alternative resource for state financial aid for non-citizen Virginia residents. The VASA Application not only supports previously ineligible students, but also supports the statewide strategic plan’s goals of making college access more equitable and affordable for all Virginia students. 


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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best state for education by 2030. For more on this statewide strategic plan, visit schev.edu/TheVirginiaPlan.



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