Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s about SERVICES:

Question: Who is eligible to participate in and receive services from ACCESS?
Answer: Any student in the following public school systems: Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Northampton County, VA.

Question: What services does ACCESS provide?
Answer: College planning assistance to middle and high school students, fee waivers for testing and college applications to eligible high school students, assistance filing the FAFSA form to high school and college students, and assistance to college students on 13 designated college campuses. ACCESS also coordinates college visits for high school students and provides scholarships based on a competitive application process.

Question: How do I know which services I qualify for?
Answer: Everyone qualifies for college planning and FAFSA filing. Meet with your ACCESS Advisor to discuss other options!

Question: How do I sign up for ACCESS?
Answer: Complete the JOIN NOW  form if you are in middle school. If you are in high school, you simply stop by and see your ACCESS Advisor!

Question: How do I know who my ACCESS Advisor is and how do I contact them?
Answer: Click here to see our high school listings and contact info by city. Click here to see our middle school listings and contact info. Click here to see our college success listings and contact info.

Question: How do I qualify for fee waivers or payments for testing and college applications?
Answer: Complete both the Fee Waiver Application and Student Release Form and submit to your ACCESS Advisor for consideration. Certain income requirements must be met.

Question: What is the Early Awareness (EA) Program?
Answer: Our EA program is designed to motivate 7th and 8th grade middle school students to start thinking about college. We encourage students to have a positive attitude, to believe that college IS attainable, and to take challenging courses like Algebra while in middle school to prepare for college.

Question: How much does it cost to attend ACCESS events?
Answer: Most events are free; however, if a cost is associated with an event it will be publicized as necessary.

Question: How much does it cost to receive ACCESS services?
Answer: Free! There is no cost to students or parents for services provided at any level: middle school, high school, or college.

FAQ’s about the FAFSA:

Question: What is the official FAFSA website? How do I access my FSA ID?
Answer: The official FAFSA website is www.fafsa.gov. To access the FSA ID, visit www.FSaid.ed.gov.

Question: If my EFC is $0, does that mean college is free?
Answer: Not necessarily. However, it means you qualify for Pell grants and other types of federal/state aid that could greatly reduce the total cost of attending college. Loans may still need to be taken out and repaid depending on particular circumstances.

Question: I am no longer in high school, who should file my FAFSA?
Answer: Your former high school advisor, current college advisor, or even the Main Office may assist you! Contact the Main Office at (757) 962-6113 for filing assistance.

Question: Why do you need my tax return or tax information?
Answer: Tax information is required by the Department of Education to complete the FAFSA. Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, that information should be directly retrieved using the IRS data retrieval tool while completing the FAFSA. Tax information also allows us to determine Fee Waiver eligibility for testing and applications.

FAQ’s about SCHOLARSHIPS:

Question: When should a student start to look for scholarships?
Answer: Right now! It is never too soon to start researching scholarships. Click here for resources to get you started.

Question: Does participating in ACCESS automatically qualify me for the ACCESS scholarship?
Answer: No. You must complete the scholarship application, have an unmet financial need, and meet all necessary deadlines to qualify.

Question: When is the ACCESS Scholarship application available?
Answer: The application is posted to our website on March 1 and is due May 10.

Question: When are ACCESS scholarship checks disbursed to colleges?
Answer: First semester scholarship checks are disbursed to colleges in July and second semester scholarship checks are disbursed in December, or as soon as proper documentation is received. Click here for the required documents.

Question: What must I do to maintain my ACCESS scholarship?
Answer: Maintain a 2.0 GPA or above, file the FAFSA by your school’s priority deadline, and submit the renewal materials as requested.

Question: How do I renew my ACCESS scholarship?
Answer: You must submit the following information to scholarship@accesscollege.org: Agreement Form, grades and class schedule, award letter, and you must file your FAFSA by the priority deadline of your college.

Question: Where do I send my ACCESS scholarship renewal materials?
Answer: Email all required information to scholarship@accesscollege.org.

FAQ’s about DONATIONS:

Question: How is ACCESS funded?
Answer: ACCESS is a non-profit foundation and relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund our programs.

Question: How can I donate to ACCESS?
Answer: Click here to see all of the various ways you can donate to ACCESS!

Question: Is there a minimum donation required if I want to contribute to ACCESS?
Answer: No. Every dollar helps- click here to donate now!

Question: Do you provide NAP (Neighborhood Assistance Program) tax credits?
Answer: Yes. If you are an individual or business, a minimum donation of $500 or $616, respectively, will qualify you for NAP tax credits. However, these tax credits are limited and awarded on a "first come, first served" basis. Contact Dionne Scott, Director of Development, for more information: (757) 962-6113.