At any local Kroger or Stop-In Food Stores during the month of May, customers may donate $1 or $5 to support Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) and make college possible for local high school graduates.

The Diploma Campaign launched May 4, and Kroger and Stop-In Food Stores are partnering with Virginia Western to support CCAP and help bolster the economic base of the Roanoke Valley.

“College is possible for all local high school graduates,” President Robert H. Sandel said. “At Virginia Western, students get access to a quality education and can go directly into the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution. Through CCAP, they can get a degree or certificate and create a stronger regional economy.”

CCAP allows local high school graduates to attend Virginia Western for two years cost-free. Administered by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, CCAP now serves Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke Counties and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem.

CCAP supports as many students as possible based on student need and available funds. The program was launched in 2008 with the pilot phase in Salem and expanded to Roanoke City in 2009. In Fall 2011, graduates of Franklin County High School began participating in CCAP, and other localities joined in Fall 2013. Virginia Western is in the process of accepting the 2014-15 class of CCAP students.

Graduating seniors of participating high schools are eligible to apply for CCAP. Applicants must have attended the high school in, and have been a resident of, the participating locality in which they are applying for at least two years prior to graduation. The application process for 2013-14 is now closed and the application process for 2014-15 opens January 1, 2015.