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W.Va. Treasurer announces Student First Technologies selected as new Hope Scholarship customer service manager

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore, who serves as Chairman of the Hope Scholarship Board, today announced his Office has selected Student First Technologies to serve as the new Hope Scholarship program manager, which partners with the Office and Board to provide services to the program’s students, participating nonpublic schools and education service providers.

“I am confident that our new program manager, Student First Technologies, will help take customer service and satisfaction in the Hope Scholarship Program to a greater level as we continue to build and grow the program,” Treasurer Moore said. “I know their management will provide a marked improvement in the quality of services offered to all program participants.”

Student First Technologies was founded in 2017 and has been at the forefront of building and implementing education funding programs across the country. The company was selected following a public bidding process earlier this year; they will replace current program manager Step Up for Students after July 31.

As program manager, Student First Technologies will primarily work to provide customer service and operate the Hope Scholarship online portal used by the program’s students, participating nonpublic schools, and education service providers. 

The company will also be hiring multiple staff members in West Virginia to help with program outreach and customer service efforts.

“This means the new customer service team will be in-state and on-the-ground, providing front-line service and expertise to all program participants,” Treasurer Moore said. “Additionally, the online platform that Student First Technologies is creating for the program will offer new functions and features to simplify online transactions and provide a better overall experience for program participants.”

The Hope Scholarship Board, with the support of the State Treasurer’s Office, will continue to provide the overall program oversight and administration; Student First Technologies as program manager will be providing individual account services for program participants and maintaining the program’s online account portal.

Due to this transition to the new program manager’s system, there will be a roughly two-week maintenance period on the Hope Scholarship online portal in the middle of July to properly complete the transfer to the new system. During this time, participants will not be able to access accounts or make purchases with carryover funds in the current Education Market Assistant (EMA) system.

“We do want to go ahead and alert participants as early as possible that this transition will be coming in the middle of July,” Treasurer Moore said. “We encourage everyone to take steps now to ensure all required documentation, contact information, and other relevant student and educational information is complete and as up-to-date as possible so that your account can easily transition to our new system.”

Exact dates for the maintenance period will be communicated to all program participants, participating nonpublic schools and education service providers by email in the coming weeks.

Since the deadline to apply and receive the full Hope Scholarship funding for the 2024-2025 academic year is June 17, and the first semester scholarship payments are not set to be made until around Aug. 15, this maintenance period should not interfere with participants’ ability to apply for the Hope Scholarship Program or use student funds in the upcoming school year.

More information about the Hope Scholarship Program is available at www.hopescholarshipwv.com.

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