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Great Expectations: Fostering Powerful Change (A Major Initiative of Virginia's Community Colleges)


Great Expectations is a nationally recognized program that helps Virginia’s foster youth earn the postsecondary credentials they need to achieve an independent and successful life. Great Expectations is currently available at 21 of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Great Expectations was created in 2008 as a partnership between Virginia’s Community Colleges and philanthropists supporting the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. The program launched at five Virginia Community Colleges, each of which received a grant to pilot components of the program. Since then, the program has expanded to 18 community colleges across the Commonwealth.

Great Expectations helps Virginia’s foster youth complete high school, gain access to a community college education and transition successfully from the foster care system to living independently.
Key components include:

  • Individualized tutoring
  • Help applying for college admission and financial aid
  • Career exploration and coaching
  • Help applying for and keeping a job
  • Life skills training, including managing finances
  • Personalized counseling
  • Student mentors

The Virginia Tuition Grant for Foster Youth is an award provided to eligible applicants who are not already receiving sufficient grant funds to pay for their tuition and fees.


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