The nation’s top public universities are cushioning the cost of college for those students who need it the least, according to a report by The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization. And while the University of Virginia has made important progress in minority students’ access to higher education, it lagged behind when it came to enrolling low-income students.
Incoming UVA President Teresa Sullivan arrived at University of Michigan in 2006, a year when UM’s enrollment of minority students declined. One question facing her when she takes office in August: What will her impact be on UVA’s low-income and minority student enrollment?
According to the study, research-extensive public institutions spent a grand total of $361 million in 2007 on grant money for families with an income of more than $115,000—a 28 percent increase from 2003—and another $400 million on students from families making $80,000 to $115,000 per year.
Greg Roberts, UVA Dean of Admission, says that, as far as UVA goes, things have changed since the 2006 data. “I think we have made tremendous improvements, especially in the low-income area in the past few years,” he says. For the 2009 class, 31 percent of enrolled UVA students are receiving need-based financial aid, an increase from 24 percent in 2006.
Furthermore, students who are eligible for Pell Grants—federal money awarded to students on the basis of their demonstrated need, with an average family income of $20,000 in 2007-2008—have increased at UVA. “I think another statistic that is worth noting is that in 2006…about 8 percent of our students were Pell eligible, and now it’s 11 percent and that is increasing,” says Roberts.
“It’s true, certainly we are not where we would like to be,” he adds, “but we think that we are moving in the right direction.”
Mary Lynch, one of the authors of the report, says that UVA performed better, according to the 2006 data, in enrolling minority students than low-income. Lynch says that, in 2006, approximately 10 percent of UVA students came from low-income families, while 32 percent of all college students in Virginia were low-income.
However, it’s not all bad news. “We see that there is some progress there… They were one of the biggest improvers among flagships on access to low-income students,” she says.
Access UVA is one cause behind this progress. It’s a financial aid program championed by late Dean of Admission John Blackburn and favored by President John Casteen that meets 100 percent of a student’s financial need.
Lynch says that while public universities are trying to compete for high-income and high-achieving students, the efforts put towards recruiting low-income, high-achieving students is unequal.
“[The universities] are working hard to compete in college ranking guides, like the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which does not give much credit for enrolling low-income and minority students,” she says. “It actually gives you more points for who you exclude from your university.”
Just last week, UVA announced that a record number of admission applications—22,396, up from last year’s 21,831—were received for the 2014 class. Roberts says that he is trying to build a class of freshmen and transfer students “that are (A) academically talented and qualified, and (B) diverse,” he says. “Those are our two priorities and diversity takes many forms—it could be racial, it could be socio-economic, it could be diversity of talent, and all sorts of things.”
Interestingly, President-elect Teresa Sullivan comes from the University of Michigan, a school that also performed poorly in enrolling low-income students. In contrast to UVA, however, the representation of minority students at UM has decreased since 2004. It should be noted that Sullivan arrived in Ann Arbor the same year that data was collected for the report. She was not available for comment at press time.
Every few years, the idea to put a roundabout at difficult intersections pops up—and usually disappears. Charlottesville’s former mayor and longtime delegate, the late Mitch Van Yahres, was a big roundabout fan, and he supported the one installed at the airport, one of the few bandied about
On a recent Sunday morning, a crowd of Blue Moon Diner patrons could be seen hovering outside the side door of the self-proclaimed “best little breakfast, sandwich, burger, dinner, live music, arm wrestling, vinyl record-playing, family-friendly neighborhood bar and activist spot” with
When David Mitchell bought 120 acres 10 years ago off U.S. 250 in Crozet, he wanted to maintain much of its rural character and planned a subdivision with 13 clustered homes, with his own on a 60-acre preservation tract on the banks of Lickinghole Creek Basin. But he wasn’t the only one who
Science, not silence At least 500 STEM-lovers came out to IX Art Park on Earth Day for the city’s satellite March on Science. C’ville Comm-UNI-ty hosted the event. Stonefield death nets $100 fine Franklin Pollock Reider, 75, was convicted of reckless driving April 24 for hitting pedestrian
In a two-day trial that ran into the early-morning hours on April 22, a 12-person jury convicted a Fishersville duo of animal cruelty and maliciously killing a pig by stabbing it in the neck at least 31 times. Aymarie Sutter, 27, was employed as a veterinary assistant at the
It’s the issue former President Barack Obama will focus on, joining people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and HBO’s John Oliver, who consider it the biggest threat to the United States’ representative government. The menace is not one that comes from outside the country, but a homegrown tradition
Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Diantha McKeel said in February that an accelerated opening of Hedgerow Park could be an alternative to allowing biking at Ragged Mountain Natural Area, a controversial city-owned and county-located property on which both governing bodies are at odds about
The University of Virginia received $143 million in biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2016. With President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he plans to cut $5.8 billion from the NIH’s budget, local neuroscientist Kelly Barford says it’s time to march.
Nearly two years after filing a more than $7.5 million defamation suit against Rolling Stone, its parent company and “A Rape on Campus” reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely—and five months after a jury awarded her $3 million—former UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo settled her case, likely for much
The same week the Daily Progress won a whopping 42 awards at the April 8 Virginia Press Association banquet, including 13 first-place plaques, the paper, which is owned by a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, laid off three employees. The Progress, like many other former Media
A 35-year-old former cop made an April 13 appearance in the courthouse attached to the Charlottesville Police Department, where he was employed as a patrol officer when he allegedly pressured a woman to her knees, unzipped his pants and forced her to perform oral sex while on the job. In
So far, seven people seem eager to devote their Monday nights to City Council meetings. The race for two open seats now held by Bob Fenwick and Kristin Szakos, who is not seeking another term, has drawn three Democrats—Fenwick, Heather Hill and Amy Laufer—for the June 13 primary. Traditionally
Most people recoil at the thought of going to the DMV, so when a Department of Motor Vehicles van pulled up to Reid Super-Save Market last Thursday morning, a line of people were already waiting to cash in on the convenience of a mobile office. The DMV’s first office on wheels used a telephone
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has set aside $2 million in its capital improvement budget for the Center at Belvedere, a new senior center that is set for construction in the Belvedere neighborhood next year. And one county resident isn’t happy about the partnership. “I think it is
McAuliffe’s pen In his last year in office, Governor Terry McAuliffe was unable to deliver on a campaign promise to expand Medicaid to 400,000 uninsured citizens, which is supported by 69 percent of Virginians, according to a recent University of Maryland poll. The General Assembly’s Republican
“This is going to be catastrophic.” That was Jeff Koenig’s thought on the second day the fire burned, last April 17, in Shenandoah National Park. Koenig had first laid eyes on the flames the day before, when he pulled his truck up to Two Mile Run Overlook. It was a Saturday afternoon. A fire
Jason Kessler, the right-wing blogger who unsuccessfully petitioned to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office, pleaded guilty today to punching a man while gathering petition signatures, but challenged the victim’s statements outside the Charlottesville General District Court. In the
While Tom Perriello tours the state seeking support for his gubernatorial run, his mom is running her own grassroots campaign, chocolate chip cookie by chocolate chip cookie. During her son’s 5th District congressional campaigns in 2008 and 2010, Linda Perriello took cookies with her everywhere
Trump Winery has applied for temporary visas for another 23 laborers, which it says it cannot find domestically. Earlier this year, it imported six workers to prune grapevines. Critics suggest that if the vineyard, owned by President Donald Trump progeny Eric Trump, paid a living wage, it might
Common sense Things looked dire for Common House last year, when the roof of the previous social club that occupied 206 W. Market St., the 1913 Mentor Lodge, collapsed. But like the “movers and doers” Common House hopes will call the club their home away from home, founders Ben Pfinsgraff,