Governor Albert Bryan has issued an executive order granting high school graduates a supplemental scholarship of $1,000 because of hardships that resulted from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the territory’s residents and the education system. The announcement was first made in May.
The scholarships are available to all high school, home school, trade school and GED graduates of the spring of 2020 whose permanent residence is the U.S. Virgin Islands at the time of graduation and who have been accepted into a college, university or other post-secondary education or advanced vocational or trade school, Government House made known.
The supplemental scholarship can be used to pay for tuition and other education expenses and will be paid through the Virgin Islands Board of Education from funds received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) educational funding, according to the release.
To qualify, a graduate must submit an application to the Board of Education, a letter indicating how the graduate has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, proof of graduation and a letter of acceptance into a college, university or other post-secondary education or advanced vocational or trade school.
If a graduate does not complete the first semester of their respective college, university or advanced vocational or trade school, the funds will be returned to the Government of the Virgin Islands. The GVI is allocating $1 million received from the CARES Act educational funding for the supplemental scholarships, Government House said.
“The pandemic is projected to last through the summer of 2020 and may re-emerge in fall of 2020 and it will require continuing diligence in combatting the pandemic,” Mr. Bryan said in his executive order. “Many of the parents of graduates have been, and continue to be, affected emotionally and financially by the implementation of the prohibitive phases of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Both public and private school students are eligible for the scholarship.