- Is there a deadline? The preferred deadline is April 15, but students can and should apply after that date. Awards are made on a rolling basis. There are steps that must be completed before the term begins (i.e. drug screen, promissory note, verification, etc.) so you should submit the application early and at least 2 weeks before your term begins.
- What do I have to do to apply? You must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov and the WV Invests Grant application at www.wvinvests.org.
- What terms does the application cover? The 2020-21 WV Invests Grant application covers the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms. The 2021-22 application for Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 will open October 1, 2020.
- Do I have to apply each year? Yes, you must complete a WV Invests Grant Application and the FAFSA every year to qualify for a WV Invests Grant.
Visit our drug screening page for details about the drug screening process.
- Who must be tested? Any student who applies and wants to be considered for funding through the WV Invests Grant Program must submit a drug screening within 60 days prior to the beginning of the first term in which you are eligible for the academic year (summer through spring) and any student who previously received a positive result.
- How often must I be tested? You must take at least one drug screen prior to the beginning of the first semester in the academic year (summer through spring) in which you are awarded and enroll at least part time. A passing result during the 60 days before the first term in which you enroll at least half time will qualify you for all subsequent terms you are eligible in the academic year. A first non-passing result requires you take another drug screen during the 60 days before the next term you are eligible and enroll at least part time. A subsequent non-passing result requires you complete a drug rehabilitation program as prescribed by the Vice Chancellor for Administration to remain eligible and taking another drug screen during the 60 days before the next term you are eligible and enroll at least part time.
- Are the results confidential? The results are confidential. The approved medical provider will send you a copy of your testing results within one week of receipt of your specimen and will also send the results to the WV Invests Grant Program. A positive or negative will be shared and, if positive, which substance. No further information is provided from the drug screening company.
- Where do I go to complete my drug screening? Facilities, locations, and times are available on the  Participate In Program site. Once you receive an award letter from the WV Invests Grant Program, visit Participate In Program to create an account, pay for your drug screen, find a location and schedule an appointment.
- Do I need an appointment? Appointments are not required. Walk-ins are available during business hours.
- What should I bring to the drug screening facility? You must bring a government-issued photo ID and a Drug Screening Authorization Form. The Drug Screening Authorization form will appear in your Participate in Program account after you have paid for the drug screen. Failure to provide an accurate WV Invests Grant ID number when creating your Participate in Program account may result in invalidation of the drug screening.
- Where can I find my WV Invests Grant ID? The WV Invests Grant ID is provided on the confirmation page of your WV Invests Grant online application. It will also be included in the award letter you will receive from the WV Invests Grant Program.
- Should I go ahead and take the drug screening right after I apply? No. Wait until you receive an award letter for the WV Invests Grant before submitting a drug screening. Once you receive your award letter, you will need to create an account at Participate In Program where you will pay for your drug screen, find a location and schedule your drug screen.
- What happens if I am taking legally-prescribed medications? If you are taking legally-prescribed medications, you must provide documentation of the prescription when you submit your specimen at the screening facility. Additionally, you should be prepared to discuss any medications with the Medical Review Officer if questions arise.
- How do I get the results of my screening? The drug screen results will be sent to your Participate in Program account within a few days. You can access your Participate in Program account at Participate In Program.
- What are the possible drug screening results?
- Negative – you tested negative for controlled substances and will be processed for the WV Invests Grant Program as passed.
- Positive – you tested positive for controlled substances and will only be eligible for WV Invests Grant Program funding for the semester if it is your first positive result. You will be required to pay for and pass another drug screen within 60 days prior to the beginning of the next term in which you are eligible for an award to continue receiving the award. If you fail the subsequent test, you will be required to complete a drug rehabilitation program as prescribed by the Vice Chancellor for Administration before you may receive funds for that term.
- If the results are positive, can I still take classes and receive other forms of financial aid? The drug screening results are only used to determine your eligibility for WV Invests Grant funding. The results will not impact your eligibility to receive other forms of financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, student loans, etc.) nor will they impact your ability to enroll in classes at your institution.
- Can I appeal the drug screening results?
Yes, you may appeal the results of the drug screening through a retest of the original specimen.
The student is responsible for paying for the retest cost. The retest compares a new drug screen to the previous drug screen that was positive.
If the retest is negative, the student would be eligible for that semester. If the retest is positive, the student may appeal to the WV Invests Grant Program.
Appeals must be filed in writing within 15 days of receiving notification of the positive drug screening from the retest. The appeal must be sent to the Director of State Financial Aid Programs and must include documentation to support the claim that the analysis was faulty.
You will be notified in writing when a final decision is made about your appeal.
- What if I refuse to submit the drug screening? You have the right to refuse to submit to a drug screening. You will not be eligible for WV Invests Grant funding if you refuse.
- Who pays for the drug screening? The student is responsible for paying for the drug screening each semester. Speak with someone in your institution's financial aid office if you will have difficulty paying for the screening. In some cases, funding may be available to offset the cost of the screening.
- If my academic program also requires regular drug screenings, do I have to take another one for the WV Invests Grant? It is up to the academic program administrator or agency partner to decide whether the WV Invests Grant Program required drug screening is adequate or if another drug screening is required. Check with your institution's financial aid office if you have questions.
- What does a WV Invests Grant cover? It pays on tuition and mandatory fees. Effective Summer 2021, it also pay toward academic program fees at 2-year public institutions approved by the WV Council for Community and Technical College Education. The WV Invests Grant does not pay toward other non-approved fees, books, supplies, etc.
- What does "last dollar" mean? We take tuition and approved fees then subtract federal and state scholarships and grants, as well as, tuition waivers. If there is a remaining balance, then the WV Invests Grant will be applied to the balance.
- What scholarships and grants are subtracted before the WV Invests Grant is calculated? Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, WV PROMISE Scholarship, WV Higher Education Grant, HEAPS Part-time Grant, HEAPS Workforce, and institutional tuition waivers are subtracted first.
- What about other types of financial aid? Any other type of financial aid (such as private or institutional scholarships and grants, vocational rehabilitation, WIA, work-study, student loans, Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program, WV Engineering, Science & Technology Scholarship, WV Center for Nursing) could be received on top of a WV Invests Grant award.
- Do I have to use my Federal Pell Grant or WV PROMISE Scholarship before using the WV Invests Grant? Yes, if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grant, WV PROMISE Scholarship, WV Higher Education Grant, etc., then you must utilize those funds before a WV Invests Grant award would be applied to tuition and mandatory fees. If you decide to defer receiving Federal Pell Grant, WV PROMISE Scholarship, WV Higher Education Grant, the amount you would have been eligible for will be deducted before the amount of WV Invests Grant is calculated.
- What community service do I need to do? Those who receive funds in a term, must complete 2 hours of community service as approved and verified by the institution.
- What if I don’t complete or forget to verify the community service? The award for that term may be canceled and you will not be eligible for any further disbursements from the WV Invests Grant.
- What is the deadline for completing the community service? The 2 hours of community service must be completed during the term and before the term ends. Community service performed before the term cannot be used.
- Do I have to be a West Virginia resident to receive WV Invests Grant funds while I am a student at a West Virginia institution? WV Invests Grant funding is only available to West Virginia residents. Even though a resident of another state is enrolled at a West Virginia institution, that non-West Virginia resident is not eligible for WV Invests Grant funding. To be eligible for funding, the student must be a U.S. citizen and have resided in West Virginia for a minimum of one year immediately preceding the application for WV Invests Grant funding. A student who moves to West Virginia for educational purposes only is not considered a resident.
- If I move out of state after I finish my program, do I have to pay the WV Invests Grant back? Once a student is no longer enrolled half-time, they enter a 6-month grace period. At that point a student must be residing in West Virginia or else begin making monthly payments. A recipient must reside continually for 2 years to fulfill the requirements for the WV Invests Grant.
- Is it 2 years for each year I receive the WV Invests Grant? No, a recipient only needs to live in West Virginia for 2 years no matter how many terms or how much money the student received.
- Does living in West Virginia before I received the award count toward the 2-year residency requirement? No, only residency after a student drops below half-time enrollment counts toward the 2-year residency requirement. A student cannot begin the 2-year residency requirement if they are still enrolled in college.
- What if a recipient cannot find a job in West Virginia? The WV Invests program requires all recipients to reside in West Virginia for 2 years after dropping below half-time enrollment. If a recipient moves out of state, they would be required to pay back the WV Invests Grant plus interest and fees.
- What happens after I graduate, cease to be enrolled, or drop below part-time enrollment? To prevent the WV Invests Grant from converting to a loan, recipients must be a resident of West Virginia for at least 2 years after dropping below part-time college enrollment, ceasing to be enrolled, or graduating. That post-enrollment residency requirement starts immediately but you will first enter a 6-month grace period, during which time the WV Invests Grant Program will attempt to verify your West Virginia residency with other state databases. If your residency cannot be verified with those agencies, you will be required to provide a WV Invests Grant Residency Verification Form and acceptable current documentation of your residency.
- What if I transfer to another institution and no longer receive WV Invests Grant? Your post-enrollment residency requirement begins after you drop below part-time enrollment. Institutions are required to regularly report enrollment to the National Student Clearinghouse and we will confirm your continued enrollment with that entity. Because of various reporting timelines by institutions, verification of your continued enrollment may not occur in a timely manner. If that occurs, to prevent your grace period from starting or your award going into repayment, you may need to complete a WV Invests Grant Enrollment Verification Form with your current school of enrollment.