TOBACCO REGION LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

2017-2018 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • IF YOU DID RECEIVE AN AWARD (PAYMENT FROM THIS PROGRAM TO A 4-YEAR INSTITUTION) IN FALL 2016/SPRING 2017:

    What are the changes for 2017-2018 for returning applicants who were awarded (received payment to 4-year institution) in 2016-2017?

    • The program has not changed for returning applicants who received a 2016-17 award, and these students will continue under the 2016-17 criteria for the new 2017-2018 year. Applicants must reapply by logging into his/her account, updating/ submitting the application, and providing required documentation by the deadlines published. A returning applicant must still meet the “Eligibility Requirements” to be awarded. Awards for 2017-2018 will be continue as scholarship awards and will not be loans. Read more under “Program Criteria” for award amounts and award guidelines.

  • IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE AN AWARD FROM THIS PROGRAM IN 2016-17:

    What are the program changes for new 2017-2018 applicants who did not receive an award in 2016-2017?

    • Applicants who did not receive a 2016-2017 award but who are awarded for 2017-2018 will receive funding as a loan. Terms to earn possible forgiveness through employment are provided in the terms of the Master Promissory Note as well as repayment terms if forgiveness is not received. New applicants who are awarded will be required to sign a Master Promissory upon award, and must sign an Addendum once payments are made to a school. (Please read terms of the Master Promissory Note carefully). If terms for forgiveness are not met, repayment of the funds will be required. New recipients can receive assistance for one degree (maximum of 4 years); previous years that award was received will count toward the 4 years. 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”.
    • Program changes for new recipients beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year who did not receive an award in 2016-2017:
      • Award will be a loan for $1000 per semester for Fall and 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 must be made to a college/university.
      • Colleges must invoice this program.
      • Terms for possible forgiveness of loans or repayment of loans and other provisions are included in the Master Promissory Note.

  • How is the award order for 2017-2018 changing for new 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 2016-17 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 2017-18 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 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 2017-2018 applicants who are permanent residents of the Southside 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 2016-17 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 2017-18 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 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.
    • New award recipients will receive an award email and a Master Promissory Note. The Master Promissory Note will require an electronic signature and to 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.