G3 Launches – Virginia’s Tuition-Free Program for In-Demand Careers

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    Southwest Virginia Community College is now offering a way for residents of the Commonwealth to obtain a degree, certificate, or workforce credential tuition-free. 

    Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation creating his signature “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative, or “G3” program on March 29th, 2021, which makes tuition-free community college available to low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields. The G3 program includes $36 million to cover tuition, fees, and books and provide wraparound support for eligible students at the Commonwealth’s two-year public institutions.   

    Governor Northam’s press release: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/march/headline-894095-en.html 

    The program goes into effect July 1, 2021, but students can apply and enroll now for classes at Southwest. A listing of all programs that are being offered tuition-free thanks to G3 at the college is available at: sw.edu/g3 

    The G3 Program is a tuition assistance program for any Virginia resident who qualifies for in-state tuition and whose family income falls below an identified threshold (less than or equal to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, or roughly an income of $100,000 for a family of four). Eligible students may enroll in designated programs leading to jobs in high-demand fields. 

    The designated programs fall into five targeted career areas that are in high demand in Virginia: Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, and Public Safety. 

    Each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges has a list of approved G3 programs in the five targeted career areas. The programs are designed to be “stackable,” meaning that each program starts with skills training that leads to a certificate with immediate value in the labor market. Because the certificate is part of an associate degree, a working student can continue to “stack” additional certificates on the pathway to an associate degree. 

    Additional FAQ about G3: https://sw.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021-g3-faq.pdf 

    In addition to the G3 program, Southwest offers more than 250 scholarships and funding from federal, state and local sources, removing the financial barrier of attending college that many students face.