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Tuition-free community college signed into law for low- and middle-income students

Two identical bills that establish and fund the G3 program passed in the state House and Senate with broad bipartisan support.
Courtesy the Office of the Governor
Courtesy the Office of the Governor(Office of the Governor)
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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(WDBJ) - Governor Northam’s “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back,” or “G3″ program, is now available as an option for low and middle-income students in Virginia to receive a tuition-free community college education.

The Governor’s Office announced that the new legislation signed Monday includes $36 million for tuition, fees, books and wraparound support for eligible students at two-year public schools.

Two identical bills that establish and fund the G3 program passed in the state House and Senate with broad bipartisan support.

According to the announcement Monday, “The Governor’s tuition-free community college initiative targets key industries, including health care, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education. On average, students in these high-demand degree programs increase their wages by 60 percent upon program completion and double their individual state tax contributions.”

“The G3 program is one of the first in the nation to provide wraparound financial assistance to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses such as food, transportation, and child care. Students who qualify for a full federal Pell grant and enroll full-time will receive student-support incentive grants on a semester basis. These grants will be in an amount up to $900 per semester and up to $450 per summer term. Participating institutions will receive a performance payment for every eligible student receiving a student-support incentive grant that successfully completes 30 credit hours, and an additional performance payment when the student earns an associate degree.”

Students should reach out to their local community colleges for more on how to enroll.

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