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Harvest Youth Board funds area college guides

MARTINSVILLE – The Harvest Youth Board will support college guides at Martinsville, Bassett and Magna Vista high schools with a $5,000 grant to help more students plan their futures after high school, whether they are joining the workforce, attending college or enrolling in trade programs. Although Carlisle School does not house a college guide on campus, all programming will be made available to Carlisle students.

The College Advisers of Martinsville and Henry County will use this grant to assist with fees for college applications, college entrance examinations (SAT and ACT), and score reports for those tests after other available resources are exhausted. According to the grant application, waivers are in place for most of those fees, but they to do fail to take some families into consideration.

College application fees can range from $40 to $50, but some fees can be as high as $75, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Current fees for the SAT and ACT range from $46 to $62.

“As a high school senior myself, I learned how expensive and difficult it can be to afford college applications and fees,” said Kendall Cope, vice chairperson of the Harvest Youth Board. “After applying to a couple of colleges, the price can add up very quickly. I love this grant because a student shouldn’t have to worry about paying for an application if that means it will place a burden on his or her family. This grant has the potential to change the lives of many students, no matter what path they decide to take after graduation.”

Funds also will be used to make campus visits less of a burden on students and families who otherwise may not have a chance to visit a college campus. Funding is available to cover the cost of campus trips, according to the grant application, but students still are responsible for providing money for food or packing a lunch to attend the trip.

“Colleges and college entrance exam providers realize that the costs of applying to college add up quickly for a low-income student, but they do not account for extenuating circumstances,” said Allyson Clement, a college adviser at Bassett High School. “There are numerous students in Martinsville and Henry County who are living with grandparents, guardians, or who are considered homeless. These circumstances make it difficult to prove to institutions the need for fee waivers.”

Lastly, the funding will help create engagement opportunities for underclassmen and local families to learn more about the process of applying to college.

“This grant is very important because college advisers play a tremendous role in helping students shape their future,” said Adrian Hylton, Harvest Youth Board member. “This grant will help the advisers have a greater impact on the students and their experiences in choosing a college. For a number of students, the first time they step on a campus is when they are actually moving onto campus.”

Board member Zariah Scales added, “The College Advisers of Martinsville and Henry County benefit the community a great deal. It’s very important for students to get as many opportunities as possible to further their education, and this grant will help students make that happen. SAT’s, ACT’s and college visits can be expensive, but are an important part of the college process. This grant will ensure that all students get the same opportunities as others.”

The college guide program is part of the Virginia College Advising Corps (VCAC), launched in the fall of 2005 by the University of Virginia. There currently are 24 college advisers serving 28 schools across the state, according to the VCAC’s website. To find out more, visit

The Harvest Youth Board considers grant proposals year-round for projects and programs that benefit youth in Martinsville-Henry County. Grants awards typically are up to $5,000. To find out more, visit or call (276) 632-3329.

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