Virginia State University Substitutes Scholarship Grants in Place of Student Loans

Several years ago the University of Virginia launched its AccessUVA financial aid program which substituted scholarship grants in place of loans for students from low-income families.

Virginia State University, the historically black state-operated educational institution in Petersburg, does not have the resources of the University of Virginia. In addition, its students are more likely than those at UVA to come from low-income families and, therefore, a greater percentage of its students require financial aid assistance. Nevertheless, Virginia State is also seeking to ease the debt burden of its students. The university’s Low Income Families With Talented Students (LIFTS) program will provide 75 percent of a student’s financial aid needs with outright grants. A maximum of 25 percent of all financial aid will be in the form of loans. The program will apply for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Virginia State estimated that the new program will add about $700,000 per year to its financial aid costs.