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Become a Peer Academic Coach

The Peer Academic Coaching Program is a free resource for students of any level or discipline who want to improve their academic success skills. Peer academic coaches (PACs) help students strengthen their skills in time management, studying, note-taking, test-taking, active reading, overcoming procrastination, goal-setting, and more. PACs also represent the Student Success Center through classroom seminar presentations or at campus events. Students can meet with PACs through in-person or virtual appointments or by attending seminar presentations. This grant-sponsored partnership between the Student Success Center and the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid is designed to develop student leaders on campus.


Peer academic coaches receive a grant of $2,000 per year, which compensates all time in required coaching, seminar presentations, and training. The grant money is applied directly toward your tuition (i.e., it will appear in your awards on Hokie Spa, not in your bank account), and it does not have to be paid back.

In addition, PACs may receive $12.00/hour for extra work when available. Extra work could include requested seminars, study sessions, campus events, or other special projects. This pay rate will be raised to $13.50/hour on January 1, 2025.

Students in the Honors College can also earn honors credit for working as a PAC.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Have authorization to work in the United States
  • Be financially eligible for the PAC grant as determined through Scholarship Central and the FAFSA
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better
  • Maintain a history of good conduct standing and academic integrity
  • Commit to working in both the fall and spring semesters following your application
  • Dedicate time for coaching (~4 hours per week) and seminars (~4 hours per semester)
  • Attend biweekly staff meetings
  • Participate in biannual fall and spring training days on the first Sunday of each semester
  • Complete online training before beginning to work

Application Process

  • February: Complete the online applications (Scholarship Central and Handshake) and consider attending an optional info session
  • March: Application review
  • Late March to mid April: Selected applicants will be invited for interviews; the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid will screen all applicants for financial eligibility (later than normal due to FAFSA delays)
  • Mid April to mid May: Preliminary decisions will be made; additional applicants may be invited to interview
  • Late May to early June: Eligibility screenings (including GPA, transcripts, faculty references, and conduct and academic integrity records); decisions will be announced, including conditional acceptances and waitlist notifications
  • Mid June through mid August: Offers will go out to waitlisted students as others drop out or fail to meet requirements

What We Look For in PAC Candidates

  • Strong academic skills and habits that you can model for students
  • Ability to clearly explain information in multiple ways
  • Ability to quickly establish rapport with others
  • Being empathetic, patient, compassionate, and wanting to help
  • Believing that anyone can improve regardless of where they start

Benefits of Being a PAC

  • Earn money with flexible hours
  • Deepen your understanding of academic success concepts
  • Build skills in communication, leadership, and problem-solving
  • Make a difference for your peers
  • Join the community of peer educators at Virginia Tech