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What is G3?

G3 tuition assistance is for students living in Virginia who qualify for state financial aid with a household income that’s less than $100,000. G3 is available for programs in five of Virginia’s most in-demand industries, including Early Childhood Education, Healthcare, Information Technology, Public Safety and Skilled Trades (construction and manufacturing). As the primary workforce training provider for the Commonwealth of Virginia, all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges proudly offer G3 tuition assistance to its students. The RCC programs that are G3 eligible can be found here.

G3 is a last-dollar scholarship that, with other financial aid, could bring that cost down to $0. For full-time students who receive the maximum Pell Grant, additional scholarship benefits are designed to help off-set your cost of living so you can continue to take care of your family while going back to school.


How do I Enroll in G3?

When you meet with your Navigator to plan your classes, please make sure you are in a G3 eligible program. While you can be in multiple G3 eligible programs, if you are in both a G3 eligible and a G3 ineligible program, you may not be awarded G3. Students are evaluated for G3 eligibility automatically, and you do not have to apply other than completing  your FAFSA. FAFSAs for the 23-24 school year should be submitted by May 15th in order to make you eligible for the most aid possible.  If you are taking classes during the summer of 2023, make sure you have done both a 22-23 FAFSA to cover you for the summer of 2023 and a 23-24 FAFSA to cover you for fall of 2023, spring of 2024, and summer of 2024.

Once you qualify, G3 has academic performance requirements to stay eligible. So long as you stay on track to finish in three years, you can take a break in between classes and remain on scholarship.


Is G3 “free community college?”

Yes and no.

G3 provides tuition assistance if you are under a specific income level – and only for specific educational programs. G3 is also a “last dollar” program, which means after other grant aid is taken into consideration first. G3 assistance makes up the difference, so if you meet all the eligibility requirements, it would bring your total out-of-pocket costs to $0.


How does G3 tuition assistance work?

G3 assistance makes up the difference between what federal or state financial aid pays for and the cost of tuition, fees and books. This means if you enroll  in a G3-eligible certificate or degree program, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may also be required to provide documentation of household income or eligibility for federal assistance.

If you want to come to school and get certifications or a degree that leads to a career, we can help you find money to make it happen – through G3 or other funding.


Do I have to enroll as full-time student?

G3 is for full- and part-time students.

If you are a part-time student, you must enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours (usually two classes) per semester or in an otherwise approved short-term program.

You may also receive additional financial assistance if you qualify for full Federal Pell Grants and enroll full-time (12 or more credit hours in fall and spring semesters, and 6 credit hours in summer – usually four and two classes, respectively). This additional assistance is intended to help offset costs outside of the classroom so you can focus on school without worrying about other expenses.

Additionally, to stay eligible for G3, you must also maintain satisfactory academic progress.


Is there a time limit for G3 tuition assistance?

As long as you continue on the same G3 educational program, you have three years to complete an associate degree.

If you complete a certificate with your chosen G3 track and stop school to work, you will still be eligible for G3 tuition assistance if you return within one year. After returning, you then have two years to complete your associate degree before funding expires.


What’s the difference between associate degrees and certificate programs, and how do they fit into G3?

An important benefit of G3 assistance is that it applies to different pathways to student success, depending on a person’s individual needs and circumstances.

Some jobs only require a workplace certification, while other jobs may require an associate degree. This program gives you both.

Programs under G3 are stackable, which means you could graduate with two workplace certifications and an associate degree – three from the price of one!


What are some of the benefits G3 tuition assistance?

G3 will provide you the financial freedom to upgrade your skills and prepare you for the right career, right where you live, right now. This assistance will help remove the financial barrier of a higher education and will get you to the job that will best support you and your family.

With G3 assistance, you’ll also be studying in career fields that are actively hiring in Virginia. According to data from the Virginia Community College System, people who complete these programs, on average, gain 60% more in wages.