What is the G3 Program?

The G3 Program is a tuition assistance program for any Virginia resident who qualifies for instate tuition and whose family income falls below an identified threshold. Eligible students may enroll in designated programs leading to jobs in high-demand fields.


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Who is eligible for the G3 Program?

Any Virginia resident who:

  • Qualifies for in-state tuition
  • Has a total household income of less than or equal to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (roughly an income of $100,000 for a family of four)
  • Is enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours in a Virginia community college
  • Is enrolled in a designated G3 program
  • Has applied for federal and/or state financial aid programs

What are the designated programs?

  • The designated programs fall into five targeted career areas that are in high demand in Virginia:
    Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood
    Education, and Public Safety.
  • Each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges has a list of approved G3 programs in the five targeted
    career areas. The programs are designed to be “stackable,” meaning that each program starts
    with skills training that leads to a certificate with immediate value in the labor market. Because
    the certificate is part of an associate degree, a working student can continue to “stack”
    additional certificates on on the pathway to an associate degree.

How does tuition assistance work?

  • G3 Program funds make up the difference between what federal or state financial aid pays for and the cost of tuition, fees, and books for the program. This means that an individual enrolling in a certificate or degree program must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for the program. An individual enrolling in a designated short-term credential program must provide documentation of household income or eligibility for federal assistance programs.

Does a student have to enroll full-time?

  • The G3 Program will be available for full- and part-time students. A part-time student must enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester or in an approved short-term program.
  • The G3 Program will provide additional financial assistance to students who qualify for full Federal Pell Grants and enroll full-time (12 or more credit hours in fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours in summer). This additional assistance is intended to reduce the number of part-time hours a student has to work so that he or she can spend more time studying.

Is there a time limit for eligibility?

As long as a G3-eligible student continues in the same program pathway, he or she has up to three years to complete an associate degree. A student who completes a certificate and stops out to work will still be eligible for G3 if he or she returns within one year. After returning, the student will have two years to complete the associate degree.

In order to remain eligible for the G3 Program, a student must:

  • Demonstrate progress to complete an associate degree in three years.
  • Maintain a 2.0 grade point average and make satisfactory academic progress.

Are the programs geared more towards two-year associate degrees or shorter-term workforce programs?

  • Both. An important benefit of the G3 Program is that it recognizes the different pathways to success depending on a person’s individual needs and circumstances. For some people, a short-term credential or certificate program is the best fit. Others may need a year-long program, and for some a two-year associate degree may be the best fit. What is very important is that each shorter-term program is part of an associate degree pathway, so people can always come back and build on skills and programs already attained.

How will the G3 Program benefit Virginia?

  • The G3 Program will provide financial incentives for eligible individuals who need to upgrade their skills or who lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and prepare them for high demand, high-value jobs.
  • According to data from the Virginia Community College System, completers of these programs gain 60% in wages on average and double the amount of state taxes they pay.
  • Employers will benefit from having a larger qualified talent pool to fill high-demand jobs in the Commonwealth.

When does G3 start?

The G3 program goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Interested individuals may begin the enrollment process at their local community college in April 2021.

How does someone apply for G3?

Students & Staff at MECC

  1.     1. Select your career path from the courses below.
  2.     2. Apply to MECC.
  3.     3. Fill out the FAFSA or FANTIC application.
  4.     4. Contact an advisor to plan classes and confirm financial aid.
  5.     5. Enroll in your first classes.

Approved List of Programs

Computer Technology

Computer Networking Software Development I
Software Development II Information Tech Readiness
Cybersecurity Computer Software

Early Childhood Education 

Early Childhood Development Child Development/Infant & Toddler

Health Sciences

Dental Assisting Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Medical Technician Basic Plus Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Phlebotomy
Nursing Assistant Health Sciences
Practical Nursing Nursing
Pharmacy Technician Respiratory Therapy

Manufacturing and Skilled Trades

3-D Design Air Condition & Refrigeration
Construction/Weatherization Electricity
Electromechanical Technology Machinery Maintenance
Technical Studies: Welding Welding Operator  I
Welding Operator  II

Non-Clinical Health Sciences

Medical Records Technician Medical Office Coding & Procedures
Health Information Management

Public Safety

Corrections Science Corrections Management & Supervision
Law Law Enforcement Management & Supervision Police Science

G3 FastFoward Programs

 Advanced Cardiac Life Support  Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
Certified Certified Nurse Aide  Emergency Medical Technician
 Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate  Paramedic
 Pediatric Advanced Life Support Pharmacy Technician
 Electrical – Level 1  Electrical – Level 2
HVAC HVAC – Level 1 Plumbing – Level 1
Power Line Worker 1 Drill Press Skills I
 Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)  Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
 Grinding Skills I  Job Planning, Benchwork & Layout
Level I CNC Milling: Operations  Level I CNC Milling: Programming Setup
Measurement, Materials, and Safety  Welding – Level 1
 Welding – Level 2 Core -Introductory Craft Skills