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YOU are helping #MakeCollegePossible

MaLora Bush.
Yadav Sapkota.
Cody Gump.
Alexie Jean-Jacques.

Recognize the names of these current or former Virginia Western students? Did you help them take a step further in overcoming life obstacles and achieving their academic goals?

Each of these students is deeply thankful for the support they received from the Virginia Western community. We helped them #MakeCollegePossible — which is the theme of the Educational Foundation’s new fundraising campaign to benefit the Community College Access Program (CCAP) and general scholarship needs.

Beginning Nov. 28, on #GivingTuesday, you’ll see video stories featuring MaLora, Yadav, Cody and Alexie popping up on the College’s Facebook page. You’ll hear them express — in their words — the significant impact that Virginia Western has made on their lives.

We hope you’ll share these videos and help the Educational Foundation spread the word about #MakeCollegePossible.

Not on Facebook? You can watch a 10-minute compilation of these stories here: http://virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible

We all know that this busy time of year it’s especially easy to lose sight of the community college’s mission. We hope these videos help recharge your focus, and affirm that Virginia Western is a big part of what makes the Roanoke Valley a beautiful community.

With sincere thanks,

The Educational Foundation staff (Amanda, Carole, Carolyn, Wanda and Jill)

Saying thank you to our military and veteran students

As we come to the close of November, the month of Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, it seems to be a fitting time to show appreciation and highlight Virginia Western’s military and veteran students and the resources available to them.

For service members, returning home can be both wonderful and challenging. Relearning the rhythm of day-to-day life, reuniting with family and friends, and the loss of the camaraderie of fellow soldiers can be overwhelming to service members. Learning how to translate skills obtained and resources earned in the military toward civilian life can be daunting as well.

Within the Commonwealth, Virginia Western has the largest population of military students west of Richmond, and is dedicated to supporting service members and their families. The college offers numerous resources including a Military Student Center, an active Armed Forces Student Association and SALUTE – the national honor society for current and former service members. We also provide access to additional veteran resources from Virginia’s Community Colleges such as Credits2Careers.

The Virginia Western Military Student Center helps current and former service members and their families access the services available to them at the college. Michele Hilts, VERITAS Veteran Liaison, explains that everything from application and advising support to quiet study space is available at the center, which is open day and evenings. “The Military Student Center is staffed with fellow student veterans who know the ins and outs of the school and the VA,” said Art Baker, a former engineering student who transferred to Northwestern University. “VWCC will help guide you through the VA process and the academic process, so that a veteran only has to focus on learning.”

In addition, the Armed Forces Student Association, a chapter of the Student Veterans of America, is a campus student organization that promotes socialization and continued service to the community for current and former members of the military and their supporters. Virginia Western is also the first college in Virginia to establish a chapter of SALUTE, the only national academic honor society for current and former military service members.

Along with the Virginia Community College System, Virginia Western is committed to evaluating students’ military experience and granting college credit. Through the Credits2Careers website, service members can explore careers, community college programs, and load their military transcript to receive Credit for Prior Learning and apply it towards academic requirements of a degree or certificate¬† – thus, completing a degree or certificate needed for a future career – faster and at a lower cost.

Mark Shelton, a military student who is passionate about Mission 22 – veteran suicide prevention, shares that “just reaching out, talking to people (other service members), is really important.” Regardless of the branch of service, those who have served in the armed forces of the United States seem to share a sense of belonging and understanding with one another. Their comradery is impressive and their sense of duty transfers naturally to almost every task presented to them. Virginia Western appreciates the service of those in the armed forces and their families and is grateful for the opportunity to serve them here with a supportive environment and access to resources to further their lives and careers.

Virginia Western to provide financial aid application assistance on Nov. 4

Virginia Western Community College will provide free assistance as part of the Great FAFSA Fill Out in the third floor computer labs of Webber Hall from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 for those applying for financial aid for the 2018-19 academic year. Financial aid representatives from Virginia Western as well as from other local colleges will be on hand to answer questions and get students started on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to any college or university.

If possible, attendees should bring the following to the event:

  • Student and parent FSA ID and password – create these at www.fsaid.ed.gov prior to attending and save time
  • Social Security number (parent and student)
  • Driver’s license (if applicable)
  • Completed 2016 federal tax returns
  • Bank and investment statements
  • W-2 forms and any non-taxable income documentation received in 2016

Parents of dependent students are strongly encouraged to attend this event because a parent’s signature is required on all dependent students’ FAFSA forms.

Virginia Western enrollment for Spring Semester 2018, which begins Jan. 8, 2018, will be open to the public on Nov. 6, 2017. Prospective and returning students can view class schedules and enroll online at www.virginiawestern.edu.

The Great FAFSA Fill Out is open to the public and no appointment is needed. Take this important step before the holidays and start the new year one step ahead! For directions to campus and parking information, visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/about/visitvwcc. For answers to frequently asked financial aid questions, visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/financialaid/faq.