The majority of federal and state financial aid programs are decentralized to institutions of higher education. While the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has administrative and financial oversight of state-funded financial aid programs, Virginia's participating institutions: oversee the application process; allocate awards to students; and determine final eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Established in 1972, the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant program (VTAG) is designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, non-profit colleges and universities in Virginia for other than religious training or theological education. The VTAG is authorized in Chapter 4.1 Section 23-38.11 through 18 of the Code of Virginia as the Tuition Assistance Grant Act.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s coordinating agency for higher education. As an entity of the Commonwealth of Virginia government, SCHEV exists to serve the public interest and to assist the state’s system of higher education. Their mission is "to advocate and promote the development and operation of an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive, and coordinated system of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to lead state-level strategic planning and policy development and implementation based on research and analysis.