A Spoonful of Sugar…

by James A. Bacon

A major piece of the University of Virginia’s value proposition is a promise to meet 100% of a student’s financial needs through grants, loans and work study. In the past, the University covered tuition, fees, room and board for students in families with incomes of less than $30,000 yearly and tuition & fees for students in families earning $80,000 or less. President Jim Ryan announced Friday that the University would bump up the thresholds to $50,000 and $100,000.

The change sends a message to families that UVa’s “doors are wide open” to families regardless of financial circumstance, Ryan declared.

The boost to financial aid was part of the administration’s messaging in announcing the 3% increases in tuition & fees in the next two academic years. Said UVA Today:

“UVA remains an extraordinary value with robust financial aid packages and loan caps, high graduation and job placement rates and a world-class educational experience,” President Jim Ryan said. “We are committed to ensuring our doors remain open to the very best students, regardless of their family’s income, and we will continue to invest in scholarship support. I’m grateful to the board for their partnership in this work.”

As Julie Andrews famously sang in “Mary Poppins,” “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” The upgrade to UVa’s financial aid package was the spoonful of sugar to sweeten the additional $21 million in tuition & fees revenue UVa can expect to collect from students next year with its 3.0% increase.

The bump in financial aid will “add about $1 million to expense,” Ryan told the Board of Visitors Friday. That sum should be more than offset by generous contributions dedicated to scholarships and financial aid during the current $5 billion fundraising campaign.

2.3 3 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dennis Hughes
Dennis Hughes
6 months ago

As Sen. John Kennedy once said of Sen. Joe Manchin,
“He could talk a dog off of a meat wagon”.
That could easily be said of Pres. Ryan.

HooDaMan
HooDaMan
6 months ago

UVA will not receive $21mm from tuition hike. Since it is needs blind admission and since they are recruiting more students who can’t pay – additional revenue generated to pay faculty may be quite negligible.

Janus
Janus
6 months ago

Redistribution: a Play in Two Acts

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
6 months ago

Our younger 2 daughters are out-of-state alumnae. My family income is over the income threshold for financial aid, but nowhere near enough to afford the now $80,000/yr. UVA charges non-VA residents. That is ~ $25K more than UNC which now is ranked higher.

Wake the hell up Jim Ryan. You need a strong dose of private sector product competition perspective.

I’m not holding my breath.