FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Pierpont Community and Technical College has started to experience the rewards of the West Virginia Invests Grant, which offers free tuition for students enrolling at a community college.
“It has helped their enrollment. Students are excited about it. I’m glad West Virginians are taking advantage of the program,” said Lyla Grandstaff, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management.
Currently, Pierpont has received more than 900 applications, as the college plans to offer more than $1 million worth of tuition.
Provost Michael Waide said with many obstacles that students can face, like work and family obligations, help from WV Invest can go a long way.
“The challenges of maintaining high achieving marks in academics and fitting all of that together into the chaos of their lifestyle, when you add into that the stresses of finances, that becomes an impediment for West Virginia students.” said Waide.
However, every student may not get in, as each student who has applied must complete minimum education and living requirements, fill out a FAFSA application and West Virginia Invests application, as well as go through a mandatory drug screening.
“Once they take their drug test and we receive the results, then we apply the aide, if they qualify, to their account. After they are enrolled, they have to do two hours of community service per semester.” said Grandstaff.
Grandstaff and Waide told 12 News they are happy that Pierpont can play a small part in getting 60 percent of West Virginia students to earn a college degree by 2030.