Free financial aid advisory services available

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Students in public high schools in Cumberland and Lunenburg can receive free professional advising on how to pay for college, technical training or other education after high school. My goal, as your representative in the General Assembly, is to ensure that any student who wishes to pursue college or technical education after high school can do so regardless of their financial circumstances. No student should be denied an education after high school due to the inability to pay.

Here’s how it works: students can arrange for a private one-on-one session with a GRASP Advisor through their high school counseling office. Parents are encouraged to attend as well. GRASP stands for GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc., and their advisors are knowledgeable about how to finance a college or career education after high school. GRASP Advisors help students prepare and submit the FAFSA the required application to be awarded financial aid, compare financial aid offer letters, apply for scholarships and fulfill admission requirements. “My school’s rep was very kind and informative,” one Lunenburg County student recently remarked.

The Virginia General Assembly has supported this free service by creating the Neighborhood Assistance Act, which provides tax incentives for private donors who, along with foundations and school divisions, provide the funding for GRASP and similar programs. As a result, every year GRASP Advisors are able to help thousands of Virginia students access higher education.

Last school year, 191 students from two high schools in Cumberland and Lunenburg benefitted from GRASP’s individual financial aid advising. Thanks to the Neighborhood Assistance Act and the generosity of individual and corporate donors, GRASP also awarded $8,000 in direct scholarships to students from these schools.

To learn more about these services or find an upcoming financial aid event in your area, visit the GRASP website at or contact