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Affordable Pathways Partnership Grants


The Affordable Pathways Partnership Grants were established through the support of Governor McAuliffe and funding from the General Assembly during the 2016 General Assembly session as part of the Fund for Excellence and Innovation. Development of affordable pathways partnerships is a component of the Virginia Plan for Higher Education, the statewide strategic plan, and supports the commonwealth’s objective to be the best-educated state by 2030.

For the purpose of this grant opportunity, 
SCHEV defined affordable student pathways as sequential academic courses or learning experiences with connected support services designed to result in a cost savings to the student while in the pursuit of a degree and/or workforce credential. 

Grants awarded in the first round targeted the expansion and creation of sustainable affordable pathways programs that focus primarily on high school to college-age students; strengthen PK-12 partnerships with higher education; implement or expand pathways that support cost savings to students such as opportunities for early college credit, improve time-to-degree/credential or completion rates, particularly for underrepresented populations;  and lead to a degree, certificate or workforce credential. Underrepresented populations are defined by SCHEV as students who are a racial/ethnic minority, from a low-income background and/or are from areas of the state with low degree attainment rates, based on census data. 

 Expected Outcomes

  • Increased cost savings to students 
  • Increased education outcomes for traditional high school to college age populations, particularly those that experience barriers to education
  • Enhanced partnerships between PK12 and higher education
  • Sustainability of the program and partnerships
  • Program scalability

Round One Grants Awarded December 2016

The initial round of grants were targeted towards public higher education institutions focused on the creation or expansion of affordable pathways programs primarily for traditional high school to college age underrepresented populations. Five grants were awarded with an average cost savings of $10,000 for students who complete the pathway program. 

2016 Awardees and Program Descriptions


Contact Information

For questions, please contact Paula Fisher Robinson (

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Through these values, we create a welcoming work environment that represents the best of who we are as an agency and as individuals.

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