TOBACCO REGION SCHOLARSHIP/LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS

2018-2019 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • IF YOU RECEIVED A SCHOLARSHIP AWARD PAYMENT FROM THIS PROGRAM IN FALL 2017-2018 (AS A RETURNING RECIPIENT FROM 2016-2017)

    • Students who received funding in 2017-2018 as a scholarship must reapply online for a 2018-2019 award. The program has not changed for returning scholarship applicants who received a 2017-18 scholarship award.  These students will continue to be awarded as a returning scholarship applicant if he/she: (1) Reapplies by logging into his/her account, (2) updates/submits the 2018-2019 application, (3) provides required documentation by the deadlines published, and (4) continues to meet the 2018-2019 “Eligibility Requirements”. Read more under “Program Criteria” for award amounts and award guidelines.

 

  • IF YOU RECEIVED A FORGIVABLE LOAN IN 2017-2018 OR IF YOU ARE A NEW APPLICANT TO THIS PROGRAM:

    • New award recipients in 2017-2018 did not receive funding as a scholarship award but were awarded a forgivable loan in 2017-2018. For those recipients to continue to receive the loan for 2018-2019, returning loan recipients must reapply online and submit required documents by the published deadlines.  In addition, all new applicants must also apply online and provide proper documentation. THIS AWARD IS A LOAN AND NOT A SCHOLARSHIP.  Terms to earn possible forgiveness for this loan through employment after graduating with a 4-year degree are provided in the terms of the Master Promissory Note (sample copy is available under this tab) as well as the repayment terms if forgiveness is not received.  PLEASE READ THE TERMS OF THIS DOCUMENT CAREFULLY. Applicants who are awarded will be required to sign a Master Promissory if awarded, and must sign an Addendum for payments to be made to his/her school.  Please understand that if terms for forgiveness are not met, repayment of the funds will be required. Recipients of the loan forgiveness award can receive assistance for one degree (maximum of 4 years). Previous years that an award was received will count towards the 4 year maximum.  Applicants under 21 years of age are required to have a co-maker who must also sign the Master Promissory Note and Addendum. Please read more info under “Program Criteria”.
    • For returning and new students who are awarded a loan forgiveness award in 2018-19:
      • Award will be a loan for $1000 for Fall semester and $1000 for Spring (maximum of $2000 per academic year).
      • To be eligible, recipient must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 semester hours (or 13.5 quarter hours) per semester (quarter).
      • Funds can be used towards tuition, room and board, or books; payments from this award must be made directly to a college/university.
      • Colleges must invoice this program before payment can be made.
      • Terms for possible forgiveness of loans or repayment of loans and other provisions are included in the Master Promissory Note. PLEASE READ THE TERMS CAREFULLY.

 

  • What is the award order for 2018-2019 for applicants of the Southwest Region? (Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Grayson, Lee, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Russell, Washington, Wise, Wythe; cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton) 
    • First, returning applicants who received an award payment to his/her college in 2017-2018 will be awarded.

If funds remains available, next priority will be given in the following award order as a forgivable loan. OFFICIAL AWARD ORDER BY REGION for new 2018-2019 awards follows:

    • Juniors and Seniors with STEM-H majors by GPA who are descendants of tobacco quota holders/growers during 1998-2004 (with documentation), and then other Juniors and Seniors with STEM-H majors by GPA,
    • Juniors and Seniors by GPA who are descendants of tobacco quota holders/growers during 1998-2004 (documentation) by GPA, and then to other Juniors and Seniors by GPA,
    • Sophomores by GPA, with priority given to descendants of tobacco quota holders/growers during 1998-2004 (documentation), and then to other Sophomores by GPA,
    • Freshmen by GPA (4.0 to 2.0 GPA order), with priority given to descendants of tobacco quota holders/growers during 1998-2004 (documentation), and then to other freshmen by GPA.

 

  • What is the award order for 2018-2019 applicants who are permanent residents of the Southern Region? (Counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Franklin, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Sussex, and the cities of Bedford, Danville, Emporia, and Martinsville) 
    • First, returning applicants who received an award payment to his/her college in 2017-2018 will be awarded.

If funds remain available, next priority will be given in the following award order as a forgivable loan. OFFICIAL AWARD ORDER BY REGION for new 2018-19 awards follows:

    • Juniors and Seniors with STEM-H majors by GPA,
    • Other juniors and seniors by GPA
    • Sophomores by GPA
    • Freshmen by GPA (4.0 to 2.0 GPA order)
  • NOTE: AWARDS ARE BASED ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDING AND ON CRITERIA ESTABLISHED YEARLY BY THE VIRGINIA TOBACCO COMMISSION

 

  • How will I know if I have been awarded?
    • Award emails will be issued in priority award order until funds are depleted. Invoices will not be accepted from colleges until after the last add/drop dates, usually September/October for Fall and in February/March for Spring.

 

  • Is the award paid directly to the school or will I receive the payment? How will my school be notified of my award?
    • Payments can only be made directly to the college/university after an invoice is received.
    • Returning and new award recipients who are awarded a Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness award will receive an award email and a Master Promissory Note. The Master Promissory Note will require an electronic signature and it must then be submitted back to us. Once we receive the signed document, we will notify your college/university of the award.
    • Applicants may have to make other payment arrangements until these funds are released so please check with your school as to their policies.

 

  • When will the award be posted to my account? 
    • Colleges/universities do not invoice until after the last add/drop day so we make payments for Fall during September/October and for Spring during February/March. Applicants may have to make other payment arrangements until these funds are released so please check with your school as to their policies.
    • STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO CHECK WITH HIS/HER SCHOOL AS TO HOW THIS AWARD MAY AFFECT HIS/HER FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE. PLEASE NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT THIS AWARD.
  • Do I need to reapply every year? 
    • Yes. Once an applicant is awarded, he/she must update and submit his/her application each year and submit required documentation by the deadlines published.
  • Can I receive this award for a second degree? 
    • A lifetime program benefit restricts receipt of this funding to only one degree per student. We do not pay toward graduate level courses, degrees, or endorsements.
    • Students who use these funds for an associate’s degree at a 4-year college/university not offered by the community college serving the student, is not eligible for additional funding towards a bachelor’s degree as this program will help with only one degree per student per lifetime.