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Justice signs providing $80 million for college students and higher education institutions

By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s governor signed a bill Friday which allocates more than $80 million to the state’s higher education system to strengthen West Virginia’s financial aid programs this year and support colleges and universities.

“Today I’m holding a ceremonial bill signing of Senate Bill 1007 which allocates more than $80 million in funding for college students and higher education institutions,” Gov. Jim Justice said during Friday’s administrative briefing.

Joined by recent high school graduates and presidents of several colleges and universities, Justice said that this funding, which he requested, will go a long way toward helping students continue their education amid ongoing challenges related to the federal government’s rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“This money will help our students stay on track for their futures despite the mess created by the federal government,” Justice said during the ceremonial signing. “Our students and higher education institutions deserve stability and support, and we are committed to providing it. This funding will ensure our students have peace of mind and our state’s institutions can serve our communities effectively.”

Through this legislation, $40 million will go to the state’s needs-based Higher Education Grant Program (HEGP), allowing the maximum award amount for eligible students to double — from $3,400 to $6,800 — in the 2024-25 academic year, he said.

Building on this support, $11.2 million will go toward a newly established College Access Emergency Grant, which will provide up to $2,000 for qualifying students. Justice said.

In addition, $32 million will support the operations of West Virginia’s public colleges and universities, he said.

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