Jagger LaDouceur had a plan and a budget. He was going to attend Virginia Western Community College for two years, then transfer to Virginia Tech to study Computer Science, and then get a job as a software developer. He thought he would be able to support this plan with Community College Access Program (CCAP) funding, but when he found out he didn’t receive this tuition assistance, he started second-guessing his college plans.
Fortunately for LaDouceur, funds he received from the Virginia Western ACHIEVE Scholarship will allow him to get started on his original plan by attending the College this fall. LaDouceur and 59 other first-year students were awarded these one-time, $1,000 tuition grants from the Virginia Western Educational Foundation in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on unrestricted reserve funds, the Educational Foundation established the ACHIEVE fund in April for students who met all CCAP requirements but, due to limited funds, could not receive the CCAP scholarship.
“When the pandemic hit, and we had so many students we weren’t able to fund through CCAP, our team felt we needed to find a creative solution and close the gap for eligible students,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director of the Educational Foundation. “These students had already demonstrated their readiness to succeed at Virginia Western, and this was a way we could serve them and help keep them focused on their academic goals, remove financial barriers and allow them to start college close to home.”
For LaDouceur, the money will reduce the debt he will have to incur to follow his plan. “I know that Virginia Tech will be expensive (compared to Virginia Western), so I’m trying to reduce my costs and save as much as I can now.”
For student Caroline Treubert, having the ACHIEVE funds will allow her to keep the babysitting and house-sitting money she’s earned the past few years in the bank to use for future expenses in support of her plans to study science or law at Virginia Western and continue her education at James Madison, Radford or Virginia Tech universities.
“I was so excited to hear I got this money,” said Treubert. “Without it, I’d be in a much worse position financially, and may not have been able to go as far as I hope to get my degree and get a good job.”
Increasing support for the CCAP program remains a top priority for the Educational Foundation, and the CCAP2 Campaign is ongoing through 2021.
CCAP is a public/private partnership that pays the cost of tuition for three years at Virginia Western if a qualified student does not have sufficient financial aid to pay tuition costs. CCAP supports as many qualified students as possible based on student need and funds available for each locality.