Jun 15, 2016

Virginia Private College Week—a great way to see the Commonwealth

Sweet Briar College

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) recently announced that Virginia Private College Week is back. This year, the event will take place from Monday, July 25 through Saturday, July 30, 2016. 

And this is your opportunity to ‘tour and win’!

Several years ago, CICV launched an incentive program designed to bring high school students and their families to Virginia’s private college campuses by giving away application fee waivers. This year, the program has been expanded to include an opportunity to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

In a nutshell, if you visit three or more participating colleges during Virginia Private College Week, you will receive three application fee waivers. This means NO application fees for three Virginia private colleges of your choice.

And you will be entered into a drawing to win the gift card.

Over the years, thousands of families have participated in Virginia Private College Week by driving from campus to campus in late July on summer vacations doubling as traditional college tours. Note that the program isn't limited to high school students--prospective transfer students are also invited!

The contest works this way:
  1. Decide which schools you would like to visit. There are 24 from which to choose, and they are located in virtually every corner of scenic Virginia.
  2. Register for tours at each of the schools you plan to visit. Yes, register. It’s not required, but it really helps the schools plan for materials and tour guides. And it’s really VERY easy—there’s usually a simple form to complete on the college’s website.
  3. Organize your travel plans. Transportation information and driving instructions are available on individual college websites. Note that this is not an organized bus tour.
  4. Make sure the admissions office knows you’re there—be sure to sign in.
  5. Complete your visit and the school will notify CICV.
  6. After three visits, you will have earned three application fee waivers certified for use at any of the Virginia private colleges, and you will be entered into a drawing to receive a $500 Amazon gift card.
  7. In late September, watch your email for the application fee waivers from the CICV.
Remember that you may use the fee waivers at any college participating in Virginia Private College Week—not necessarily the ones you visited. For example, if you visit Marymount, Shenandoah, and Lynchburg, you can use your application fee waivers at any of those three colleges or at Randolph-Macon, Washington & Lee and the University of Richmond. Your choice!

By the way, Virginia’s private institutions often get overshadowed by the Commonwealth’s strong public colleges and universities. But you really should take a closer look, as these schools offer wonderful opportunities for students with a variety of interests. Much more information, including an interactive listing of colleges by majors, may be found on the CICV website.

And as you’re considering Virginia private colleges, don’t forget about the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG). This wonderful program offers financial awards to Commonwealth students attending any of Virginia’s private colleges or universities. The sole eligibility requirement is that you live in Virginia. It’s really pretty sweet. But remember that completed applications must be submitted to the financial aid office of the institution on or before July 31—prior to the fall semester of enrollment. Application submitted after July 31, but no later than December 1, will be considered for an award only if funds are available.

Also keep in mind that Virginia529 College Savings Plans can be applied to tuition at Virginia private colleges. All four savings programs offered by Virginia529—Virginia529 inVEST, Virginia529 prePAID, CollegeAmerica®, and CollegeWealth®—can be used at any of the colleges you visit during Virginia Private College Week.

Start making plans now. If you have questions about the tour or the advantages of Virginia’s private colleges, you can call 540.586.0606 or visit the CICV website.

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