Sharing college facts during school announcements, at the start of class, on bulletin boards, in newsletters, or during down time at sporting events can be a great way to keep college planning top of mind. Here are 62 facts to share.
Did you know…
- It is more affordable to go to college in West Virginia than almost any other state.
- Almost all West Virginia students get help paying for college through scholarships and grants, known as financial aid.
- Students can to school from 1-4+ years. Try to learn about the type of education needed for different careers and job options.
- Students who complete a four-year college degree earn, on average, a million dollars more over their lifetime than students who stop their education after high school.
- College graduates are more likely to have steady jobs.
- Marshall University is named after the famous United States supreme court justice – Chief Justice John Marshall.
- Students at West Virginia University get to class by taking a small train called the “P.R.T.”
- The mascot at WVU is a mountaineer.
- Glenville State College’s mascot is the Pioneer.
- West Liberty’s mascot is the Hilltopper.
- Concord University’s nickname is “Campus Beautiful,” because the buildings and gardens on campus are so pretty.
- Bluefield State College is also called “Big Blue.”
- WVU Tech is a partner campus of West Virginia University and it is located in Beckley.
- Potomac State College is a partner campus of WVU, and it is located in Keyser in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.
- Some college campuses have fitness centers, restaurants, coffee shops, swimming pools, convenience stores, and even bowling alleys and movie theaters!
- Shepherd University is located in Shepherdstown, WV, a small town with just a couple of streets. But it is also only an hour and a half away from the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.!
- Students can earn certificates or degrees in just one to two years by attending a community or technical college. West Virginia has ten community and technical colleges with multiple campuses.
Financial Aid and College Costs
- West Virginia’s public colleges and universities offer some of the lowest tuition rates in the country!
- The average cost of tuition for one year at West Virginia’s public four-year colleges is approximately $7,793.
- The average cost of tuition for one year at the state’s public two-year colleges is about $4,221!
- West Virginia provides more financial aid dollars per student than almost any other state in the nation.
- Students of any age or income-level who plan to pursue a certificate program, two-year college degree program, or four-year college degree program should complete the FAFSA — or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- The FAFSA is free to submit, available online after Oct 1, and it’s a requirement for not only federal financial aid, but also for many state financial aid programs!
- West Virginia offers several grant and scholarship programs, including the PROMISE Scholarship Program, the West Virginia Invests Grant, and many more!
Career Outlook and Economic
- In 2016, only 31% of West Virginians aged 25-64 held at least an associate degree. Earning your college degree opens up opportunities!
- Students who complete a bachelor’s degree program earn, on average, a million dollars more over their lifetime than students who stop their education after high school.
- During the recession, unemployment rates for college-educated workers stayed low relative to unemployment rates among those with a high school diploma or less.
- College-educated adults are more likely to receive health and pension benefits and to be satisfied with their jobs, and a college education leads to healthier lifestyles.
- On average, the benefits of a four-year college degree are equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2 percent annually — more than double the average return on stock market investments since 1950.
College Planning and Exploration
- West Virginia’s students and parents can get free help planning, applying, and paying for college by visiting the College Foundation of West Virginia’s free college- and career-planning website available at CFWV.com.
- Students can practice for the ACT and SAT for FREE at CFWV.com, the state’s free college- and career-planning website.
- Students can apply directly to all of West Virginia’s public two-year and four-year colleges and universities through CFWV.com. CFWV.com is West Virginia’s free college- and career-planning website!
Q & A: The Basics
- Two-year or four-year public colleges or universities are regulated and funded in part by the State.
- An independent or non-profit college or university are organizations that do not receive direct funds from the State.
- A for-profit college or university is a business that provides higher education as its service.
- Certificate and licensing programs are specialized plans of study that are usually intended for students planning to pursue a trade, many can be completed in a matter of months.
- Associate degrees are typically awarded to students who complete a two-year period of study at a college.
- Bachelor’s degrees (or baccalaureate degrees) are typically awarded to students who complete a four-year period of study at a college or university.
- Postsecondary education is education and training beyond high school.
Q & A: College Entrance Exams
- The most common entrance exams to a four-year college, that helps to determine whether or not you are ready for college-level work are the ACT and SAT.
- The ACT exam comes in four parts or sections: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Scores range from 0 to 36.
- Both the ACT and SAT exams require you to register to take the test and pay a testing fee.
- The state of West Virginia offers FREE online test prep courses at CFWV.com.
- Most students do better the second time they take the ACT.
- Students should take a college entrance exam in their junior year to allow time in order to meet admissions and/or scholarship application deadlines and allowing them time to retake the test if desired.
- ACT scores are not required for two-year public colleges.
Know the Lingo
- A credit hour is a unit of value given to classes; often based on the number of hours a student is expected to attend class each week. Students can be considered “full-time” or “part-time” students.
- Twelve credit hours is typically the minimum required for full-time status for undergraduate students in West Virginia.
- A student must complete at least 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate “on time” (completing a four-year degree in four years or a two-year degree in two years).
- A financial aid package is the combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study stipends or funds a student receives to help offset the cost of attending college.
- A major is a subject or discipline in which a student chooses to specialize.
- An “orientation” is an event hosted by a college to help new students understand the enrollment and college-going process, such as how to register for classes and how to pay tuition fees.
- It is important to go to a college that has been accredited, meaning that a reputable outside organization has verified that the college meets a minimum level of quality.
- Application deadlines vary from school to school and program to program. For example, the general admissions deadline at a college might be April 1, but the deadline to apply for its nursing program might be February 1.
- Other than your application — the admissions office at a college will or is likely to request an official transcript, ACT/SAT scores, a résumé or list of accomplishments and activities, an essay, and a letter of recommendation.
- If a student can’t afford to pay a college application fee or ACT or SAT registration fees they can talk to the school counselor or a college admissions counselor about receiving a “fee waiver.”
The Right Fit
- When deciding on a college or program students should consider: programs and majors offered; academic quality; cost and availability of financial aid; success rates; environment and campus life; and location.
- When deciding on a college or program students should probably ignore: their friends’ decisions; school sports records; sticker price; fancy residential facilities; and nerves/normal jitters.
- Experts recommend students apply to between four and six schools – at least one “stretch” school, two “fit” schools, and one “safety” school.
- A “stretch” school is highly competitive and admits very few of the total students who apply; the school intimidates the student; the student’s test scores and GPA are on the low end or just below the average range for students attending this school.
- A “safety” school has an “open admissions” policy, meaning that any student who meets the basic criteria outlined by the admissions office will be accepted.
- Most colleges and universities are public spaces and students should feel free to stop by and walk around, or set up an official tour with an admissions officer.