What is VA Ready?

VA Ready connects motivated Virginians to credential programs offered by Virginia Community Colleges and other Education Partners, and provides a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award.


Who is eligible to enroll in VA Ready?

VA Ready is open to motivated Virginians who enroll in one of the VA Ready approved credential courses within the FastForward program at one of Virginia’s community colleges or with one of our other Education Partners.


What are the other requirements to qualify as a VA Ready Scholar?

Alongside the motivation to increase their skill set, an individual must meet a few other requirements:

  1. Virginia Domicile – must live in Virginia for at least 1 year.
  2. Enrolled in a VA Ready-approved FastForward course from this list.
  3. Must submit an application as final for the VA Ready Scholar program before your course begins OR no later than 5 days after the course’s start date. (Day 1 = First day of classes)

(Eligibility Update: 06/03/2021)


Do scholars have to be unemployed to be eligible?

No. VA Ready is open to all Virginians who are motivated to increase their career prospects by earning a credential for an in-demand job in a high growth sector.


What will the scholar journey look like?

Follow these simple steps to complete your student journey:

Enroll in a VA Ready approved course through the FastForward program in the Virginia Community College System or our other Education Partners
No later than 5 days after your courses’s start date, visit scholars.vaready.org to create a Scholar account and submit an application as “final”
Stay in contact with us during the term of your training program
Earn your credential and verify with VA Ready
Receive your $1,000 Credential Achievement Award
Explore VA Ready’s Job Exchange to see what jobs might be available for you


Can I receive the $1000 Credential Achievement Award more than once?

No. You may only receive the $1000 Credential Achievement Award once for completing one VA Ready supported course. You may not take another VA Ready supported course and receive another $1000 for the second course.


Where will the credentialing programs be available?

Virginia is home to 23 community colleges spread across the commonwealth, and each college offers various credential programs that are eligible for VA Ready support. To find out which programs are available at each college, visit our Education Partners page.


What is a Credential Achievement Award?

VA Ready scholars who complete one of the eligible programs and obtain the relevant credential will receive a Credential Achievement Award in the amount of $1,000. The FastForward program will have already covered 2/3 of the tuition.


Will students who receive scholarships or other financial aid for their tuition be eligible for a Credential Achievement Award?

Yes, students who received scholarships or other financial aid to cover the portion of their tuition not already covered by FastForward will still be eligible to receive a Credential Achievement Award from VA Ready.


Will VA Ready scholars be required to interview for jobs at VA Ready business partners?

No. When available, VA Ready scholars will have the opportunity to interview with Business Partners in the field they studied, but scholars are not required to participate in an interview. All scholars who complete their program and earn a credential will be eligible for the $1,000 Credential Achievement Award, regardless of whether they participate in a VA Ready-affiliated job interview.


How did you choose the eligible programs?

FastForward offers roughly 400 training and credential programs. VA Ready used a rigorous approach to identify approximately 34 in-demand occupations across three broad industry categories that are eligible for this supplementary program. We focused on occupations with the most need for skilled workers, the skills that can be acquired through short-term programs, and programs that are already part of Virginia’s FastForward initiative.


Can I continue to receive unemployment benefits while enrolled in a VA Ready training program?

Yes, VA Ready Scholars can continue to receive unemployment benefits while enrolled in a training program.


Do I pay taxes on my $1,000 Credential Achievement Award?

It depends on your income. For more information on who should and how to properly file your taxes, please consult the Virginia Department of Taxation.


What happens when the name on my VA Ready account does not match the name on my credential?

In order to receive your award, the name associated with your VA Ready account MUST match the name on your credential. Payment will only be issued to those who receive the credential, and we require the same name to be on all supporting documents in order to verify the recipient.