The College Board in its publication The College Keys Compact, expanding Options for Low-Income Students, reports that low-income students are at greater risk of missing admission and financial aid deadlines because of lack of informed support, complex aid applications and the fact that the aid offer notification process can be overwhelming to low-income students.
GRASP has taken care to not only structure the organization for our students but also for our donors. We can offer qualified donors 65% state tax credit with a five-year carry-over. The maximum donation for tax credit qualification is $125,000.
Bettsy Heggie graduated from Salem College in North Carolina. She received her MBA from Wake Forest University. Her experience is in organizational formation, growth and administration. While at Continental Cablevision, later known as Comcast, she was a Senior Director of Information Technology. In this role, she developed and managed the company's first corporate-wide department for information technology contracts, budgeting, human resources, and accounting. This provided her the opportunity to work across the United States, in Argentina, and in the United Kingdom.
While with Comcast, Bettsy earned project management certification, which follows a telecommunications-developed project management curriculum, at the University of Denver's Center for Project Management. Additionally, while with Comcast, Bettsy completed The Center for Creative Leadership's LeaderLab program. While in the cable television industry Bettsy served on the board of directors of the Women in Cable and Telecommunications.
Also during this time, Bettsy served as the treasurer of Tuckahoe Elementary and Middle School P.T.A.'s and the president of the Tuckahoe Middle School P.T.A. She and her husband Tom, a career public school educator, have one child, now grown, a product of Henrico County Public Schools and the College of William and Mary.
Since joining GRASP in 2006, Bettsy has been the advisor at Meadowbrook High School in Chesterfield County, the advisor at Freeman High School in Henrico County, the Advising Coordinator, and Director of Advisors. She became GRASP Executive Director and CEO in January 2010. Bettsy serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia College Access Network.
Both assets and resources have grown significantly under her tenure. In January 2010, there were GRASP Advisors in 40 Virginia high schools, and GRASP served 3,700 students. By June of 2016, GRASP advisors worked in 76 high schools and assisted more than 7,200 individual students.
GRASP’s goal is to ensure that
every student has an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school,
regardless of financial or social circumstances. We emphasize assisting students
from low-income families, many of whom do not believe they will be able to
attend a post-secondary institution, primarily for financial reasons.
advisors complement school counseling
services by helping students navigate the postsecondary financial aid process, including accessing federal, state, and
institutional aid to attend four year-colleges, community colleges, or technical schools.
students understand that regardless what their high school academic record was, there is a future for them in post-secondary education (i.e.,four-year college, technical school, community college or apprenticeship.)
Advisors help with FAFSA completion, scholarship applications, and explaining financial aid award letters, enabling students to make choices that minimize debt.
As a result of this program, every student will have an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school, regardless of financial or social circumstances. By developing educational plans for post-secondary education and giving hope to students and families who may not believe college or vocational training is available to them, we envision reducing high school dropout rates and moving young people towards productive and successful lives and careers.
For the sixth consecutive year, GRASP awarded “Last Dollar” Scholarships to students in the high schools where GRASP advisors work. These scholarships are intended to close the gap between a student’s financial aid award and the money actually needed to attend college. Scholarships range from $500 - $4,500. The 2014-2015 GRASP scholarship committee considered applications from high school seniors for Last Dollar Scholarships, as well as college students for College Success Scholarships. Of our scholarship recipients who reported financial information to us, more than half are from families dealing with significant financial hardships.
In 2014-2015, GRASP awarded $125,000 in Last Dollar Scholarships and $28,500 to College Success students.
In addition to our work in high schools, GRASP has a College Success Program aimed at increasing the college retention rate. Statistics from the Chronicle of Higher Education show that only 49% of Virginia students who enroll in a public college or university graduate on time, and less than 68% actually receive a degree within 6 years. The College Success Program assists students by providing support as they transition from high school to college and continuing through their college years.
Success is open to GRASP scholarship recipients as well as
other GRASP students who choose to participate.
objective is for 80% of students to take at least 6 credit hours each semester
until graduation, while maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.
include: monthly email, networking events, financial aid assistance, and on-line community support.
There were 753 students enrolled in the College Success program last year, with 111 active participants. Approximately 75% of College Success students are under significant financial stress.
80% of College Success Students will graduate from college. Strategies that will help with this goal are:
2. 80% of College Success students will maintain a minimum of 2.0 GPA.
3. 100% of College Success students will fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year, helping them receive as much financial aid as possible.
GRASP implements SOAR Virginia®, an Early Commitment Program funded by Virginia529 College Savings Plan℠, in 28 GRASP schools. In this program, advisors begin to work with students
in the 10th Grade. Up to 45 students in each school have the opportunity to
participate in this college readiness program through which each student can earn up to $2,000 for college. GRASP advisors work with students on financial literacy, attendance, grades, community service, post-secondary school options and post-secondary financial aid. Students have earned $464,000 in scholarships funded by Virginia529. 100% of participating students are on track to
graduate from high school.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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