How do we support College Access?

The Education Alliance believes it is very important for students to pursue postgraduate education. Whether that education takes place at a four year university, 2-Year community college, or trade school, The Education Alliance is committed to helping West Virginia students take advantage of every opportunity available to be ready for their future. The Education Alliance supports college access in a number of ways; from organizing a Statewide College Access Network to providing prizes and grants that support post-secondary education.

For more information contact Beth Bowden at 304-687-4483 (phone) or [email protected].

Statewide Network

Network provides opportunities for students to attend college or other postgraduate programs.

In order to increase West Virginia students’ postsecondary attainment rates, The Education Alliance has championed the creation of a Statewide College Access Network with the support of the National College Attainment Network (NCAN). This Statewide Network brings together leaders in education, business, and community in West Virginia to identify and expand opportunities for students to attend college or other postgraduate programs.

College Contest

Click here to learn how 140 lucky seniors won prizes for applying for the Promise Scholarship.

The Education Alliance partnered with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to offer the “Cool Cash for College” contest. High school seniors who filled out a Promise Scholarship application and completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were enrolled in a contest where they won prizes. 40 lucky seniors won a Grand Prize (Apple AirPods, a Mini Fridge, or a Wireless Printer) and 100 Second Prize winners received $20 Cash. Click here to learn more about the “Cool Cash for College” contest.

College Visits

Click here to learn about our 2022 Virtual College Visits for West Virginia Middle Schools!

We know more West Virginia students need to go to college (e.g. certificate, 2 year, or 4 year) in order to meet future workforce needs. We also know research says starting conversations about careers and college in middle school is critical, especially for the many students whose families lack strong college connections. Since 2019, with grant funding from The Higher Education Policy Commission, The Education Alliance has supported middle school college visits.

In 2021, due to COVID, The Education Alliance transitioned to Virtual College Visits for Middle Schools. Here are some initial results:

  • Approximately 8,249 students* participated (*includes students that visited more than one college).
  • 28 out of 55 counties participated.
  • 275 classroom teachers/counselors* served as "tour guides" for their classes. (*includes those who led multiple visits.).
  • For more information, contact Beth Bowden at 304-342-7850 (phone) or [email protected]

    Participating Schools:
    2018-2019 Grantees
    2019-2020 Grantees

    Pre-Visit Survey
    Post-Visit Survey

    FAFSA Support

    Click here to learn how students received assistance completing the FAFSA on College Bound Saturday.

    College Bound Saturday is an opportunity for students and families to receive free assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). College Bound Saturday financial aid workshops will be held at various locations across the state. College Bound Saturday is coordinated by the College Foundation of West Virginia, which is an initiative of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in conjunction with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, the West Virginia Department of Education, WV TRIO, the Education Alliance, the West Virginia Statewide College Access Network, and West Virginia GEAR UP.