Southside Virginia Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program

         Who Is Eligible To Apply:Any resident of Southside VA region who is enrolled in a Bachelorís degree-seeking program at an accredited 4-year college or university.It does not matter what field of study in which the applicant is enrolled.

These localities include the following counties and cities: COUNTIES:Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Franklin, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Sussex, and CITIES:Bedford, Danville, Emporia, and Martinsville.Applicants must be a citizen of the United States and must have resided in Virginia for a minimum of 12 months. Student from other localities or states who are attending a college or university in the Southside Virginia region are not considered permanent residents of these localities.

         When Can I Apply:The Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness application and its criteria open online

1.    8:00 AM February 28, 2011 FOR RENEWAL STUDENTS ONLY and will remain open until 12:00 AM (midnight) March 20, 2011.Support documentation must be received within 30 days after the DocuSign envelope is sent.

2.    8:00 AM April 18, 2011 FOR FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS ONLY and will remain open until 12:00 AM (Midnight) May 18, 2011.Support documentation must be received within 30 days after the DocuSign envelope is sent.

3.    Should funds remain after these applications are processed, the application process will open online after July 1, 2011 FOR ANYONE WHO HAS NOT ENTERED AN APPLICATION.

The application process will close as soon as all funds are awarded.††Please monitor the VA Tobacco Commission website to determine the availability of funds prior to the start date of each funding cycle.ALL AWARDS ARE DEPENDENT UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDING FROM THE VIRGINIA TOBACCO COMMISSION.

One exception has been made to the Bachelorís degree requirement :Students who are enrolled in a 2-year degree program at a 4-year college or university will be eligible to receive funding through the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program, provided that the 2-year degree-program is not offered at the local community college serving that individual student.

 

The award can be used at any accredited 4-year college or university, in-state or out-of-state.However, the applicant can have no ties to the other state, including driverís license, voter registration, tax payments, etc.Students who are receiving in-state tuition at a college or university outside of Virginia are deemed to have established ties to the other state.

Applicants can expect to receive an award if the following requirements are met:

1.    residence requirements;

2.    enrollment in a Bachelorís degree program at a 4-year college or university;

3.    cumulative GPA from the previous fall semester with only GPAís above 2.0 being eligible for an award; and,

4.    good academic standing with the college/university at the end of the previous fall semester.

All awards are dependent upon the VA Tobacco Scholarship and Loans Program Office receiving funds from the VA Tobacco Commission.

Beginning with the 2011-2012 funding cycle, the Southside Virginia Tobacco Forgiveness ††††††††††† Loan:

o   Pays up to $4,130 per year for tuition and fees at an accredited in-state or out-of-state public or private 4-year college or university for students enrolled in 15 undergraduate credit hours per semester or 9 graduate credit hours per semester.

o   Pays up to $2,060 per year for tuition and fees at an accredited in-state or out-of-state public or private 4-year college or university for students enrolled in less than 15 undergraduate semester credit hours or less than 9 graduate credit hours per semester.

Applicants who are enrolled on a quarter basis must carry a minimum of 45 undergraduate quarter hours or 27 graduate quarter hours.Any enrollment that is less than these numbers will change the award to Ĺ or the full award.

Due to the fact that funding is received on a fiscal year basis, the funding cycle for the 2011-2012 Southside Virginia Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program includes the Fall semester of the 2011, Spring 2012 and Summer 2011 semesters of the second year.

The Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness award can be used for tuition and fees ONLY.It does not cover books, housing, commuting expenses, etc.

This type of assistance is called ďgifted assistanceĒ.ALL other gifted assistance must be applied to a studentís account before the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program award is applied.Eligibility for funding is based on the Southside Loan Forgiveness Program serving as a ďlast dollarĒ program not intended to replace or substitute for any other awarded gift assistance.A student can also opt to use the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness award instead of Federal Student Loans.He/she must inform the financial aid advisor of this decision.

††††† As the result of the Federal Privacy Act 1988, no information can be provided to anyone other ††† than the applicant provided he/she is over the age of 18.The Information Release Form (IRF) ††††††††††† found in the packet of support documents must be completed by ALL applicants who are now ††††† required to submit the name of one other person on the Information Release Form along with a working e-mail address.The availability of this information will assist us to insure that ††† important notices are received by everyone, especially those notices regarding the availability of funds.

 

††††† The Student Authorization Form (SAF) now located in the DocuSign, Inc. envelope of Support ††† Documents must be completed and returned to the VA Tobacco Scholarship and Loan †††† Programs Office so that the college or university can share the studentís account information †††††††† in the form of an invoice. Even though this document is included in the Support Documents †††† packet, it will be activated ONLY after the online workshop is completed by the applicant.

 

Should all existing funds be awarded or depleted at any time during the funding cycle, the date received on the e-mail alerting the staff of the VA Tobacco Scholarship and Loan Programs Office that the student has completed the online workshop will determine who receives an award.

 

 

AFTER AN AWARD

 

The Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program accepts one year of documented full-time employment (minimum of 30 hours) in one of the counties in the Southside Virginia region as qualification for one year of loan forgiveness. Forgiveness or repayment begins 12 months after a degree is received. Award recipients may not receive assistance and be granted ďforgivenessĒ in the same year. They must also work a full year in order to receive forgiveness for a year.For example, a student who is working full-time and receiving assistance during the 2010-2011 academic year canít use that year of employment to forgive the assistance he/she received during that academic year.He/she must work the full 2011-2012 year before forgiveness will be awarded.

The Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program is available only to applicants enrolling/enrolled in a Bachelorís degree program.Further, assistance from this program can be used to complete ONLY one degree or 4 years whichever comes first. Lifetime program benefit is restricted to the completion of one degree program.

You must submit a copy of your schedule for each semester.This documentation must be received within 14 days after enrollment for each semester.

Forgiveness and repayment are deferred until the award recipient (1) graduates or (2) is no longer enrolled in qualifying college courses.Repayment will not begin until 12 months after the Masterís degree is completed.Forgiveness will begin when the award recipient meets the employment requirement for forgiveness.

At that point, repayment becomes the course you must take.Loan terms are 6% simple interest with payment beginning 12 months after program completion or failure to enroll in future credit courses, with a minimum payment of $100 per month and a maximum term of 10 years to repay. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program updated as to changes in personal information, (i. e. change of address, graduation, dropping out of school, et. al). Students are responsible for finding their own jobs after graduation.


How do I contact the Virginia Tobacco Scholarship and Loan Programs Office?

The Virginia Tobacco Scholarship and Loan Programs Office is housed in the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, VA.The physical address is One Partnership Circle and the mailing address is P. O. Box 1987, Abingdon, VA24212-1987.

Paul Farrar, the Southside Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program Coordinator, is housed in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, 820 Bruce Street, in South Boston, VA.He can be reached Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM Ė 5:00 PM at (434) 572-5484 or by sending an e-mail to pfarrar@swcenter.edu.

The VA Tobacco Scholarship/Loan Programs Office staff members are available from 8 AM Ė 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday.E-mails are answered daily at tobacco@swcenter.edu.Phone messages are returned within 48 hours during the week.Staff can be reached at (276) 619-4364.

SOUTHSIDE TOBACCO LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

PO BOX 1987

ONE PARTNERSHIP CIRCLE (24210)

ABINGDON, VA 24212-1987