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Justice declares State of Emergency, halts FAFSA financial aid requirements

By Anna Goldizen, The Daily Athenaeum

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency, temporarily halting Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) requirements for some state-funded financial aid programs, per a release from the Office of the Governor. 

West Virginia students can now temporarily apply for in-state financial aid programs, such as the Promise Scholarship and Higher Education Grant, without filling out a FAFSA application. 

Students who submit and qualify for the Promise Scholarship by Sept. 1 will receive an award offer of up to $5,500, the release said. 

Students who qualified for the Higher Education Grant after filling out last year’s FAFSA and are still enrolled at an in-state institution will receive an award of up to $3,400 for the Fall 2024 semester. 

Students who have not filled out a FAFSA form before but have received eligible services from the West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) or Department of Health (DH) can request an eligibility letter to be sent to their university’s financial aid office to receive the grant, the release said. 

Eligible services include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Child Care Subsidy Program and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. 

To obtain an eligibility letter from the DoHS or DH, students can call the Office of Constituent Services’ Customer Service Hotline at 877-716-1212.

According to the release, Justice’s decision was prompted by nationwide issues and delays with the FAFSA program. 

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