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Tobacco scholarship applications available online

Staff report • Feb 26, 2007 at 11:30 AM

ABINGDON - Applications for the Southwest Virginia Burley Tobacco Scholarship program will be available online March 1 for eligible Southwest Virginia resident burley tobacco quota holders, growers and workers, as well as their direct descendants. The application - available at www.vatobaccocommission.org - will remain available through Dec. 15, 2007.

The scholarship program is administered by staff at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on behalf of the Virginia Tobacco Commission. This program is designed to assist with a maximum of $2,000 ($1,500 for part-time students and $2,000 for full-time students) for tuition and fees during the 2007-2008 academic year.

These funds can only be used after all other scholarships and grants have been exhausted. Students may choose to use this assistance instead of federal student loans or a PLUS Loan. The tobacco scholarship covers tuition and fees only. It does not cover room and board, books or supplies. The scholarship is limited to one degree program per student or four years, whichever comes first. There is no age limitation regarding eligibility. However, students must be enrolled in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program.

To be eligible, applicants must be a current resident of one of the 14 counties listed below and be a Southwest Virginia burley tobacco quota holder, grower or worker or a direct descendant (spouse, child, grandchild, stepchild, etc.) of one of these individuals.

The Southwest Virginia Burley Tobacco Scholarship counties of residence are Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe. The quota must have been held within the years 1998-2004.

Applicants also must attend a four-year, public or private, accredited college or university, in state or out of state.

Awards are based on cumulative GPA, with the highest GPA being awarded first.

All support documentation must be received by close of business on Jan. 15, 2008. No additional applications will be taken after Dec. 15, 2007. Eligibility letters will be mailed on a quarterly basis in June 2007, September 2007 and January 2008, depending on the date of completion (all support documentation received).

All award recipients are required to complete an online career planning workshop prior to the college or university receiving notification of the award. Information regarding the online Web site for the workshop will be included in the eligibility letters. Award recipients have until close of business one month from the date of the eligibility letter to complete the online workshop and submit the requested support documentation.

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