Grant awarded to look at scholarship, tobacco loan forgiveness program
The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has awarded the Center for Regional Strategies at Virginia Tech a $28,000 grant to evaluate its Southwest Scholarship Program and the Southside Virginia Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program.
The Southwest Scholarship Program and the Southside Virginia Tobacco Loan Forgiveness Program are designed to provide a stimulus for economic revitalization within the tobacco region by encouraging native tobacco region Virginians to attend college and return to work in a Southside locality. The Center for Regional Strategies at Virginia Tech will evaluate the effectiveness of the programs by studying data collected from scholarship and loan forgiveness recipients.
In addition, center staff will conduct interviews with high school seniors in Southside and Southwest, scholarship and loan forgiveness recipients at the five colleges with the largest attendance of these recipients (or others of interest to The Tobacco Commission), parents of recipients, high school guidance counselors in the Southwest and Southside region, and university financial-aid officers
Eligible localities for the scholarship/loan program are Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Bland, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Floyd, Franklin, Grayson, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lee Lunenburg, Lynchburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Sussex, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe; Bedford City, Danville, Emporia, and Martinsville. For more program details, visit Mthe website.
Area civic leaders organized the Center for Regional Strategies in 2004 to identify, understand, and help address the economic and social issues important to Southwest Virginia with the belief that Virginia Tech, as the leading research university in the state, is key to any successful area-wide effort and that other four-year colleges and universities also should be represented at the center.