For the third consecutive year, the Princeton Review named UVA the nation’s best value public university. Earlier this year, UVA President Teresa Sullivan shared initial plans to increase the UVA student body by 1,500 during the next five years—all while preserving tuition costs and improving the university’s current student-to-faculty ratio. According to USA Today, many of the schools that remained atop the Princeton Review list preserved and expanded financial aid offerings this year.
Kirsten Nelson, director of communications for the State Council of Hgher Education Virginia (SCHEV), told C-VILLE in November that tuition fees were increasing "faster than financial aid." For the 2010-2011 school year, UVA tuition cost in-state students $10,836 and out-of-state students $33,782. Chief Operating Officer Leonard Sandridge told the UVA Board of Visitors last year that AccessUVA—the school’s full-funding financial aid program—would use $21 million in federal stimulus funds to accommodate an increasing number of students in need of financial support.
Last year, SCHEV requested $40.9 million in appropriations from the state’s general fund to restore state financial aid to previous funding levels. Senate Bill 819 would create the Two-Year College Scholarship Match program, which would set aside $5 million annually to match scholarships awarded to students pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas. The bill passed the Senate but was left in a House subcommittee.
On a related note: If you are a college-bound student and are reading this, remember that the priority deadline for your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is March 1.