February 02, 2014 by Latasha Myers
With the recent good news that the University of Virginia (U.Va) has once again prioritized financial aid for its lowest-income students, a promising bill in Virginia has emerged that will make a larger, statewide commitment to college affordability.
Introduced by Virginia Delegate Rob Krupicka, Virginia College for All (formerly, the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program) would offer no-loan guarantees to low-income students and interest free loans to students of middle-income families who graduate within 150 percent of the time to standard completion (6 years for a traditional four year college and 3 years for a two year college).
Public institutions of higher education in Virginia who wish to participate in the program will have to guarantee that all enrolled undergraduate students from low-income families can afford the full cost of attendance without incurring student loan debt. Students who graduated high school in Virginia with at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and/or children of active duty military personnel of Virginia residency are eligible for the program.
This is a commendable move considering that state disinvestment in higher education is the number one reason institutions of higher education cut funds from their financial aid programs. This new bill is major progress towards a victory in reversing these trends.
Sign your name in support of HB 696, the Virginia College for All, and for other states to make similar commitments to their students.