Northam signs legislation creating tuition-free community college program for low, middle-income students

Education

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation creating the “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” program.

Also known as the “G3” program, the initiative makes tuition-free community college available to low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields.

It includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees, and books and provide all-around support for eligible students at Virginia’s two-year public institutions.

House Bill 2204 and Senate Bill 1405 establish and fund the G3 program passed in the House and Senate with broad support from both parties. The signing occurred during a ceremony at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

The initiative is hoping to target industries, including health care, information technology, and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education.

The G3 program will be of the first in the nation to provide all-around financial assistance to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses such as food, transportation, and child care.

Students who qualify for a full federal Pell grant and enroll full-time will receive student-support incentive grants on a semester basis. These grants will be in an amount of up to $900 per semester and up to $450 per summer term.

Students’ eligibility for the G3 program is determined through the submission of applications for federal and state student financial aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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