You should know that we are committed to increasing financial access here. AccessUVa was the name of the initiative that started back in 2004 to make sure there is adequate financial support for low income students. AccessUVa is our pledge to:
- Meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for all admitted undergraduate students.
- Replace need-based loans with grants in the financial aid packages of low-income students — those whose family income is equivalent to 200 percent of the federal poverty line or less.
- Cap the amount of need-based loans offered to any student at approximately 25 percent of U.Va.’s in-state cost of attendance over four years, and meet all need above that amount with grants. All students, regardless of state residency, receive the in-state cap level.
- Offer additional one-on-one counseling to admitted students and their families, assisting them in the financial aid application process and presenting them with financing options outside of need-based financial aid.
- In 2004, we had 702 applicants from low-income families, described as those whose income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. In 2009, that number had more than doubled, to 1,599.
- Five years ago, 49.8 percent of low-income students accepted offers of admission. Last year, that number had jumped to 61.8 percent.
- In 2009-10, over 32 percent of the student body qualifies for financial aid, up from 27 percent in the previous academic year. As these numbers have risen, so have our Pell Grant recipients. The number is up 48 percent since 2005.
- Total need-based aid to undergraduates increased from $37 million in 2003-04 to $59.1 million during the 2008-09 academic year. Forecasts indicate that total need-based aid may top $73 million in 2009-10.
- The University's level of support for AccessUVa has risen each year to almost $30 million in the current academic year, even as state support has continued to dwindle.
If you're interested in current students' perspectives of AccessUVa and Financial Aid, check out the Hoos for Open Access blog. It's a great team blog that was started by and continues to be maintained by students. I'm sure they'd love to answer your questions!