August 3, 2013
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted Saturday to approve a plan to cut the school's financial aid program, AccessUVa. The changes add up to $7,000 less per student in grant aid, which will be replaced with loans.
“Our commitment remains ensuring access to the University of Virginia for the best students, regardless of their financial challenges,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “At the same time, we have an obligation to responsibly manage limited resources. These adjustments to the AccessUVa program provide the balance needed to accomplish both goals.”
According to school officials, need for financial aid has jumped by about ten percent since AccessUVa was introduced. As school leaders have seen a decline in federal funding, officials say it was time to rethink their approach.
“This valuable financial aid program has enabled many students to attend U.Va.,” Rector George Keith Martin said. “The program costs have increased dramatically since it was implemented in 2004, while both the demand for financial aid by families has increased and federal support has flattened or declined. The Board adopted a more balanced approach to make sure AccessUVa will be around to help future students and families for the long run.”
The change will be phased in by class over four academic years beginning in 2014. It won't affect any current students receiving financial aid. Officials say the measure will save UVa six million dollars annually.