COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 261

October 17, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Opportunities A Guide to Postsecondary Admissions and Financial Aid in the Commonwealth of Virginia

 

Preparation for postsecondary education for the students in Virginia is vital. Educators, parents, and the community all play a role in providing students with the tools necessary to make informed decisions regarding their future. To thoroughly prepare our students for an ever-increasing global economy, resources must be developed so that no child is left behind, including our English Language Learner (ELL) students.

 

Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) has partnered with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), and the Virginia College Access Network (VirginiaCAN) to produce Opportunities a book that highlights important postsecondary admissions and financial aid information.

 

Opportunities contains information to help high school students prepare for postsecondary education, select a school to attend, and apply for financial assistance. Information regarding college entrance examinations, test dates, admissions profiles, and costs for many Virginia schools are contained in this brochure. Opportunities also covers financial aid issues, such as filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as the types and sources of aid, including federal and state programs, and eligibility criteria. Numerous other topics are included in this free publication.

A Spanish version of Opportunities is available this year and can be mailed to schools along with the English version. Oportunidades will be shipped separately and each copy will include a letter from Governor Tim Kaine to Spanish speaking students and parents addressing the importance of preparing for postsecondary education. Governor Kaine's letter, along with an English translation, is attached to this memorandum to assist divisions in announcing Oportunidades.

 

School divisions can order this resource online at www.ecmc.org. The link to the ordering page is http://www.ecmc.org/student/Opportunitiesbooklet.html. Include the number of brochures needed as well as your complete mailing address and contact phone number. Printed versions of the brochure are available in English and Spanish. PDF versions are available in English, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese.

 

It is recommended that school divisions have a distribution plan in place to ensure that the Opportunities and Oportunidades reach all students in the eleventh and twelfth grades. The distribution plan can be tailored to meet the needs of the students in your division. Some activities for distribution may include classroom guidance sessions, assemblies, homeroom distribution, and/or afterschool activities designed to ensure the brochures reach all students and parents.

 

For further information, please contact Joseph A. Wharff, school counseling specialist, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 786-9377.

 

PIW/JAW/yba

 

Attachment

 

a. Governor Kaine's Letter to Spanish Speaking Students and Parents (PDF)