Tobacco Region Scholarship Program

  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How did the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program for Southwest change beginning with Spring 2015 awards?

    • The Virginia Tobacco Commission approved to remove the requirement that applicants have a connection to a burley quota holder/grower beginning October 2014 with Spring 2015 awards and for future award years.

  • How does the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program for Southside differ from the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program?

    • The Tobacco Region Scholarship Program award is NOT a loan and does not have to be repaid or forgiven.  It is a true scholarship with an additional incentive payment if you return to the tobacco region to work.
    • Tobacco Region Scholarship Program awards will be based on the number of credit hours in which the applicant is enrolled.
    • Beginning with 2012-2013 scholarship recipients (Fall 2012/Spring 2013), an award recipient who graduates from college with a bachelor's degree and becomes employed full-time in one of the localities within the footprint of the Virginia Tobacco Commission may be eligible for Work Incentive Payment from the Tobacco Region Scholarships Program by following the information outlined in the commitment letter (email) and submitting a request online through our portal.

  • Will those who received assistance through the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program prior to 2012-2013 still have to become employed full-time in the Southside Virginia region in order to receive forgiveness?

    • Yes. Everyone who received assistance from the Loan Forgiveness Program at any time from Fall semester 2002 through Summer semester 2012 is required to satisfy the terms and conditions of the Promissory Note that was signed each year. This requires the award recipient to either:
      1. become employed in the Southside Virginia region to earn forgiveness or
      2. repay all monies received at 6% interest, minimum payment of $100 monthly plus interest, and a maximum of 10 years to repay.
      3. Terms of funds received through Southside Loan Forgiveness Program must be satisfied before a Work Incentive Payment Request can be submitted.

  • How does the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program for Southwest differ from the Southwest Burley Tobacco Scholarship Program?

    • Through Fall 2014, first time applicants were required to provide documentation proving a connection to a burley tobacco quota holder/grower. Beginning with Spring 2015 awards, the Virginia Tobacco Commission will no longer require this. Applicants must be a permanent resident in an approved Southwest locality for no less than the past 12 months with no ties to any other state, and must complete an online application, and submit the documents listed under “Program Criteria”, then select “Support Documents Requirements”.
    • Beginning with 2012-2013 scholarship recipients (Fall 2012/Spring 2013), an award recipient who graduates from college with a bachelor's degree and becomes employed full-time in one of the localities within the footprint of the Virginia Tobacco Commission can claim a Work Incentive Payment from the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program by following the information outlined in the commitment letter (email) and submitting a request online through our portal.

  • What is the amount of the Scholarship award?

    • The amount of the award is calculated using the following criteria:
      • Number of credit hours enrolled? Award recipient will receive $90 per semester hour up to 120 hours MINUS the number of transferred credit hours that are accepted by the 4-year college or university, or $60 per quarter hour up to 180 quarter hours MINUS the number of transferred credit hours that are accepted by the 4 year college or university.
      • Community College Transfer? Award recipients who transfer at least 60 hours from a Virginia Community College will receive $100 per semester hour up to 120 semester hours MINUS the number of transferred credit hours or $67 per quarter hour up to 180 quarter hours MINUS the number of transferred credit hours.
      • This program is available for one bachelor's degree with one major only. Second majors, minors, and repeated courses are the responsibility of the award recipient.  Students who choose to receive funding towards an associate's degree are not eligible for funding towards a bachelor's degree as this program provides assistance with one degree per student per lifetime.

  • How will I know if I have been awarded?

    • Award emails will be issued in priority order until funds are depleted.  Invoices will not be accepted from colleges and universities until after the last drop/add date, usually October.  As a result, applicants may need to make other payment arrangements until this award is released.

  • 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
    • If an award recipient has enough assistance from other “gifted sources” to cover the total cost of tuition, an award from this program becomes null and void. After all support documentation has been received in the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program office, the application evaluated, and the applicant deemed eligible for an award, a listing of student names is sent to the respective college or university. In turn, the college or university staff sends an invoice to the Tobacco Region Scholarship Program staff for processing after the last published drop/add date.
    • You, the applicant, will receive an award email at the same time that your college or university receives notification.

  • When will the award be posted to my account?

    • Colleges and universities do not invoice until after the last drop/add day (census), making our payments due as much as 2 months after classes begin. You need to check with your Financial Aid Advisor to determine how this will affect your tuition payments.

  • Are there a minimum number of hours per semester/quarter required to receive this scholarship?

    • You must be enrolled at least part-time (6 credit hours per semester) in order to be considered eligible for an award.

  • Do I need to reapply every year?

    • Once an applicant is awarded, he/she is eligible to receive funding for one bachelor's degree as long as he/she continues to meet the eligibility criteria and does not exceed the number of hours awarded toward one degree. However, the application must be UPDATED each year and an official transcript showing the cumulative GPA for the preceding Fall semester must be submitted.

  • How will I receive notification of deadlines?

    • Renewal Applicants will receive an email during the week prior to the new application process opening for the upcoming academic year, and will provide deadlines as well.

  • Can I receive this scholarship for a second degree?

    • A lifetime program benefit restricts the receipt of this scholarship funding to only one degree per student. We do not pay for graduate level courses, degrees, or endorsements.
    • Students who use this scholarship for an associate’s degree at a 4-year college/university that is not offered by the community college serving the student, are not eligible for additional funding towards a bachelor’s degree.