UVA Expands Financial Aid for Middle- and Lower-Income Students

Under the newly expanded Access UVA program, students from families making $50,000 or less can get free tuition, fees, housing, and dining.
By
portrait of Evan Castillo
Evan Castillo
Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Evan Castillo is an associate writer on BestColleges News and wrote for the Daily Tar Heel during his time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He's covered topics ranging from climate change to general higher education news, and he is...
Published on December 18, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Darlene Earnest
Darlene Earnest
Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Darlene Earnest is a copy editor for BestColleges. She has had an extensive editing career at several news organizations, including The Virginian-Pilot and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also has completed programs for editors offered by the D...
Learn more about our editorial process
Image Credit: UCG / Universal Images Group / Getty Images
  • Students from families making $150,000 or less will receive at least $2,000 in needs-based grants.
  • According to UVA, 17% of first-year students are first-generation students, and 16.4% are Pell Grant recipients.
  • Five other Virginia colleges also offer free tuition for qualifying students.

Students from middle- and lower-income families from Virginia can now attend the University of Virginia (UVA) for even less, thanks to a new financial aid expansion.

UVA announced the needs-based financial aid expansion of Access UVA on Dec. 8 to increase affordability for students from middle- and lower-income families. UVA lowered household income requirements for financial aid by at least $20,000 for each tier of needs-based grants.

"The Honor the Future campaign has been incredibly successful in raising scholarship funds to ensure UVA is accessible and affordable for the most talented students, and I'm delighted that more Virginia families will benefit," UVA President Jim Ryan said in the announcement. "My thanks go to our generous alumni and supporters who have made this possible."

  • Students from families making $50,000 or less (up from $30,000) will receive aid equal to or exceeding tuition, fees, housing, and dining.
  • Students from families making $100,000 or less (up from $80,000) will receive aid equal to or exceeding tuition and fees.
  • Students from families making $150,000 or less (up from $125,000) will receive at least $2,000 in needs-based grants.

UVA caps need-based loans at $4,000 over four years for students from low-income in-state families and $18,000 for other in-state students with financial needs.

According to UVA:

  • 35% of undergraduates demonstrate financial need.
  • 17% of first-year students are first-generation students.
  • 16.4% of first-years are Pell Grant recipients.
  • Two-thirds of all undergraduates earn degrees without need-based loan debt.

"Our mission is to welcome talented students from all walks of life, and these expanded grants and scholarships will help us do just that," Vice Provost for Enrollment Stephen Farmer said in the announcement.

"Once Virginians from middle- and lower-income households earn admission to UVA, these scholarships will make it possible for them to join us. When they do, they'll make everyone around them better."

Five other Virginia colleges offer free tuition for qualifying in-state students from lower-income families:

  • Norfolk State University
  • The Apprentice School
  • University of Richmond
  • Virginia State University
  • William & Mary

Public State College Systems Are Increasing Financial Aid Nationwide

Public state colleges, university systems, and even states are beginning to lower requirements for need-based scholarships for lower- and middle-income students..

Last month, the state of North Carolina announced a free tuition and fees scholarship covering tuition and fees at community colleges and, in some cases, state universities for qualifying students. Eligible students will automatically receive the scholarship if they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The University of Maine System is giving free tuition and fees to those impacted by the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, through the Lewiston Strong Tuition Waiver.