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What is Great Expectations?

Great Expectations helps young adults, affiliated with the Virginia Foster Care System, transition in to college.

More than 500 children in the Virginia Foster Care System age out each year. Without social or family support, foster care children experience significant challenges living on their own. However, with access to education, foster care youth can find satisfying and well-paying jobs.

  • Assistance with choosing an academic program
  • Instruction and support throughout the financial aid process
  • Assistance with accessing financial aid and scholarship opportunities
  • Access to college support services
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Referrals for tutorial services
  • Access to an academic advisor that will help guide students through their academic journey
  • Monitoring of academic progress
  • Life skills workshops
  • Participation in college trips and events
  • Mentorship program with NOVA faculty/staff
  • Individuals between the ages of 17 - 24 years old who are affiliated with the Virginia Foster Care System
  • Youth adopted from the Virginia Foster Care System at the age of 13
  • A special needs adoption at the time they received their high school diploma or GED
  • Enrolled in and maintains at least half-time enrollment (with a minimum of six credits) in an eligible academic program of at least one academic year in length.

Sheemeca Berkley
Great Expectations Advisor
Phone: 703.845.6477
Email: or

The office for Great Expectations program is located at:

Great Expectations
NOVA Alexandria Campus
Bisdorf Building, Room 427
3001 N. Beauregard Street
Alexanria, VA 22311

Office hours vary. To make an appointment, or to meet with the program coordinator, call 703.845.6477.

Follow these helpful links to learn more about available funds:

Click here to submit and application for admission

To receive assistance for the cost of textbooks, students will need to submit proof of enrollment from the Department of Social Services. This proof must be separate from payment for classes.

The Virginia Wizard