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Enacted in 2011, the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), also known as the Top Jobs Act or TJ21, seeks to increase access and affordability of public higher education in the Commonwealth. Key objectives of the HEOA include preparing Virginians for the top job opportunities, awarding 100,000 additional degrees between 2011 and 2025, and increasing degree production in the science, technology, engineering, math, and healthcare (STEM-H) fields. To accomplish these objectives, the Act focuses on three primary themes: (a) economic opportunity and impact, (b) reform-based investment, and (c) affordable access for all qualified students. Read more.


Objectives of the Higher Education Opportunity Act

  • Increase enrollment of Virginia students
  • Increase degree completion in a timely or expedited manner
  • Facilitate degree completion for Virginians with partial degree credit
  • Improve retention and graduation rates
  • Increase degree production in the STEM-H fields
  • Increase research, including regional and public-private collaboration
  • Reduce institutional costs through year-round utilization of resources and other efficiency reforms
  • Facilitate technology-enhanced instruction
  • Enhance community college transfer programs and articulation agreements