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Governor's Schools of West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does the Academy differ from regular high schools?
The Governor's Honors Academy is a residential school that operates seven days each week, enrolls only academically gifted and motivated students, and provides a curriculum different from that found in the traditional public or private school. It offers unique opportunities for students to enhance their academic skills; assimilate the accumulated knowledge of the culture; relate to contemporary issues; deepen understanding of themselves and their unique abilities; and engage others in critical-thinking and problem-solving activities.
Q. Who can apply?
GHA is open to all 11th-grade students who are residents of West Virginia and attend high school in West Virginia, including public, private, and home schools. Students who plan to graduate after their junior year are
eligible. See Student Qualifications for more information.
Q. Will I be notified when Part I of the application is accepted?
If your application is successfully transmitted, a message thanking you for applying will pop up. If the screen does not change, some required data have not been entered correctly. Review the form and resubmit. You will not receive an email saying your application has arrived.
Q. What if I am to represent my Career/Technical (CTE) center or an associated organization in a state or national competition?
Through a special arrangement with the West Virginia Department of Education, CTE students will be given special consideration to attend state or national CTE competition.
Q. Will I get a scholarship if I attend GHA?
Attending the Governor's Honors Academy is a scholarship in itself. You'll be on a college campus for three weeks at no cost. Some colleges and universities, however, do offer college scholarships to GHA alums. Check with the financial aid officer at the schools you are considering to see whether a scholarship is available. Whether they can be used with other scholarships also differs from school to school. They definitely can be stacked with the PROMISE Scholarship.
Q. How much does it cost?
There is no cost to students or their families for tuition, room, meals, activities, books, or instructional materials. Only health and accident insurance, travel to and from the academy site, and personal expenses are the responsibility of the students and their families.
Q. How do I submit my application?
Students must work through the person appointed by the principal to apply to GHA, usually the counselor. The counselor will check test scores and GPA to see if you qualify. It's the student's responsibility to check with the counselor and to complete the application and get the required references.
The application is in two parts. Part I takes about five minutes to complete and is to be submitted online. Part II is the paper application that must be submitted to the school. Students submit the completed application to the designated person at the school before the school deadline.
The school turns it in to the county office, and the county superintendent sends in the names of the two Superintendent's Choices--one male and one female-- as well as the applications of students to be included in the state-wide pool. See the application for more information.
Q. What if I didn't score in the 90th percentile on the SAT?
The SAT is only one of several scores used to consider students for GHA. Others include a score of at least the 90th percentile on a nationally normed test such as the ACT, the ACT PLAN, or the PSAT. A score of three (3) or higher on an Advanced Placement examination is also a qualifying score. An announcement will be made at a later date regarding the West Virginia assessment.
Q. How soon can I expect to know whether I have been accepted?
Students chosen to attend GHA will receive a letter from Governor Justice approximately one month from the final state deadline. The names of selected students will be published on the website approximately one week after the letters from the Governor have been mailed so that all students will know who was chosen.
Q. How are students selected to attend the Governor's Honors Academy?
To be eligible for nomination and selection, a student must reside and attend school in West Virginia, be in the 11th grade at the time of selection, have a GPA of 3.5 or be in the top 10% of his/her class, and meet the testing qualification described above. The student must then complete an application which consists of Academic Profile, Student Profile, Teacher Recommendations, and Writing Entry. Each school must select its nominees and then send them to the district level. Each school district sends its allotted nominees to the state level. A statewide selection committee reads the applications and makes final decisions about who will attend the program.
Q. May school systems nominate as many students as they wish?
No. Each school system is allotted a male and a female "superintendent's choice" and a certain number of nominees based on its junior class enrollment.
Q. How competitive is the application process?
Each school district is responsible for sending its nominees to the state level, and most often, this competition is brisk.
Q. Does GHA accept hand-written teacher recommendations?
No. All sections of the application must be typed. That's one of the reasons it is important to ask early.
Q. How are private-school and home-school applications submitted?
The applications of such students must be submitted to the County Coordinator in the county where the student attends school.
Q. When are the applications due?
Counties must submit their choices by the published date. The school deadline will be considerably earlier. Check with your counselor.
Q. Can students who are graduating high school early apply for GHA?
No. Students must be intending to return to high school for their senior year of education.
Q. Can a student who attends a West Virginia school but lives in a bordering state still apply?
No. A student must be a West Virginia resident in order to apply for the GHA.
Q. Can a student who lives in West Virginia but attends school in a bordering state apply?
No. Students must attend school in West Virginia in order to apply for GHA.
Q. Can students include additional pages in their GHA applications?
Students should adhere to the directions on the application. If, for example, the application asks for three activities, the student needs to limit his/her description to three activities. There may be a need, however, to elaborate that could necessitate the need for additional pages. Remember, though, that clear, succinct writing is better than pages of rambling.
Q. Are grades or credits given at GHA?
Neither grades nor credit are given; however, all students successfully completing the program receive a certificate of completion. College applications often provide students with an opportunity to explain their participation in special programs such as the Governor's Honors Academy, and many offer scholarships for such participation.
Q. Is there a GHA scholarship?
There is not. Some colleges and universities, however, offer scholarships to GHA completers. You should contact the financial aid office of the college(s) you are considering to see whether such a scholarship exists there.
Q. What type of living accommodations do students have?
In 2017, students live in Honors Hall while on campus. This modern facility has lounges on each floor, and rooms are set up in suites with a shower and restroom facilities for every two rooms.
Q. May scholars request a roommate?
Yes, but it won't matter.
Students will be assigned a roommate. Students are usually informed of their room assignment on the day of arrival. The Governor's Honors Academy encourages students to meet and make new friends during the three-week residency, and students will have plenty of time each day to visit with friends during mealtimes, at structured social events, and during free time. Students will be informed of their room assignment on the day of arrival.
Q. May students go home on weekends?
No. Students must remain at the GHA through the weekends. There are activities, some involving travel, seven days a week.
Q. Are students allowed to have visitors?
No. Parents and other friends are asked not to visit other than during the designated time (opening and closing days).
Q. May students bring vehicles?
Automobiles and other motorized vehicles are prohibited, as is riding in unauthorized vehicles.
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