What does it take to be a champion?
The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) coordinates three annual college-planning milestones to help students in West Virginia plan their pathway to education or training beyond high school.
High schools that successfully participate in all three of these pathway events will be recognized as a CFWV Champion of College Access and Success.
The three milestone events
The three milestones are College Application & Exploration Week, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Campaign, and College Decision Day. Each of these milestones has specific components to help college-bound students in West Virginia transition to college.
Why this matters
These initiatives are more important now than ever to West Virginia. According to the West Virginia's Climb initiative, in the near future, we will need at least 60% of West Virginians to hold a certificate or degree in order to meet workforce demands. However, in 2016, only 31% of West Virginians held an associate degree or higher.
CFWV's three college-planning milestone events help support efforts to bridge that educational gap to ensure that West Virginia's workforce remains competitive.
The path to glory
To be recognized, high schools must do the following:
Register for and participate in College Application & Exploration Week
November 2 – 6, 2020
Complete the College Application & Exploration Week post-event survey
Deadline: January 15, 2021
Meet the statewide 65% FAFSA completion goal OR increase your school’s FAFSA completion rate by 5 percentage points compared to your rate as of *May 15, 2020
(*reflects the extended state financial aid deadline in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic)Deadline to achieve one of these two goals: April 15, 2021
Register for and participate in College Decision Day
Registration deadline: April 1, 2021Participation deadline: June 1, 2021
Complete the College Decision Day post-event survey
Deadline: Within seven days after event
College Application & Exploration Week
College Application & Exploration Week is a chance for the entire school community to discuss college options and to promote college-going. Students attending all grades, from pre-K to adult education centers, participate in this initiative to learn about colleges and careers. Hundreds of schools statewide participate each year. This campaign typically occurs in early fall.
FAFSA Completion Campaign
Kicking off in conjunction with the October 1 launch of the FAFSA, the FAFSA Completion Campaign encourages all high school seniors to file the FAFSA by April 15 to meet state financial aid deadlines. CFWV challenges schools to meet the statewide FAFSA completion goal of 65% OR to increase their school’s FAFSA completion rate by 5 percentage points from the previous year.
College Decision Day
West Virginia’s College Decision Day initiative is part of a growing national effort to celebrate seniors for their postsecondary plans and to assist them and their families in enrolling in and transitioning to college. The campaign celebrates students who plan to pursue a two- or four-year degree, a career or technical certificate, a workforce training program, or military service. This initiative typically occurs during the spring.