TOBACCO REGION LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

IF YOU DID RECEIVE A 2016-2017 (Fall 2016/Spring 2017) AWARD:

TOBACCO REGION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

SOUTHWEST AND SOUTHSIDE: The 2017-2018 PROGRAM CRITERIA for returning recipients who received an award in 2016-2017, will continue as a scholarship and will not be a loan.


Eligibility (Southside and Southwest):

  • Returning applicants who received award in 2016-2017 (Fall 2016/Spring 2017) are eligible to re-apply,
  • A legal resident of the United States, having resided in the Southside or Southwest Regions (see map on home page) for not less than 12 months with no ties to any other state,
  • Currently enrolled for a minimum of 6 semester or 6 quarter hours in a bachelor’s program at a baccalaureate accredited institution of higher education, public or private, in-state or out-of-state
    • Two-year programs at a 4-year college or university are acceptable if not offered by the Virginia community college that serves the applicant. If you choose to receive funding towards an associate’s degree, this program will help with funding for only one degree per student per lifetime.
  • Applicant must be in good standing with college or university,
  • Award limited to 2 semesters per academic year unless funds remain for summer,
  • Award limited to one degree per student per lifetime.

Support Documents

  • Official transcript providing Fall 2016 cumulative GPA based on 4.0 scale by due date posted; DO NOT SUBMIT TRANSCRIPT BEFORE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED AN ONLINE APPLICATION.

Award Guidelines

  • First priority is given to returning recipients who received an award in 2016-2017, submitted a new application and support documents by the deadline, and continue to meet program criteria.
  • 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:

    SOUTHWEST REGION: Residents of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe counties, and cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton:
    • 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.
    SOUTHSIDE APPLICANTS: Returning 2016-2017 award recipients will be awarded first. If funds remain, official award priorities will be:
    • 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

Award Amounts

  • Will continue at $90 per semester hour (or $100 per semester for those students who previously transferred 60 credits from community college), or award will be $60 per quarter hour (or $67 for students who transferred 90 quarter hours) if the school attended operates on quarter hour basis.
  • Scholarship assistance is offered for a maximum of 120 semester hours (or 180 quarter hours) toward one degree MINUS the number of transferred or taken hours on transcript. (Example: 120 SH – 60 SH transferred from VHCC or PHCC = 60 semester hours eligible for assistance).
  • Award recipients must be enrolled in not less than 6 hours per semester to be eligible for an award.
  • Assistance with one undergraduate degree.
  • After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, awarded students may apply for an additional $1000 Work Incentive for each semester scholarship was received (maximum of 8 semesters) and 6 months full-time employment in the Tobacco Region 5-year limit from issue date of letter/email to claim incentive for each semester scholarship was received (maximum of 8 semesters).

Work Incentive Payment

  • A Work Incentive will continue to be offered yearly with notifications sent by email at the same time award emails are sent. Beginning with 2017-2018 awards, students who were not awarded in 2016-2017, will not be offered the Work Incentive Payment.
  • To request a Work Incentive Payment after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, an award recipient must complete the following:
    • Graduation with a bachelor’s degree required (associate’s degrees not eligible),
    • One year of full-time employment in the Tobacco Region (approved localities represented on the map on the website home page), for each year the scholarship was received (maximum of 8 semesters) and claimed each 6 months,
    • Documentation requirements as outlined in the commitment letter (email) sent to the applicant after an award email is sent.
  • It is the responsibility of recipient to claim. Applications must be submitted online with required documentation uploaded through the applicant portal. To access, log into your account, and from the Applicant Activities menu choose “Work Incentive Payment” for instructions. 5-year limit from the date of the commitment letter (email) to claim Work Incentive Payment.
  • IMPORTANT: Students who have received funds from the Southside Loan Forgiveness Program (2002-Spring 2012) or the Tobacco Region Loan Forgiveness Program (beginning Fall of 2017-18) must satisfy the terms of the Promissory Note(s) signed before a Work Incentive Payment request can be submitted.