Presidential Scholarship Initiative to support low-income Virginia residents

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 23, 2008 – To further support a diverse and inclusive campus community, Virginia Tech has announced the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative which will reward and assist academically talented, low-income high school students from Virginia who demonstrate persistence and a commitment to academic excellence despite adverse life situations.

The scholarship will provide a significant financial package intended to make the dream to attend college for first generation college students from traditionally under-served Virginia communities a reality.

Through the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative, up to 50 low-income students from Virginia will be awarded a renewable scholarship each year that includes tuition, mandatory fees, and on-campus room and board. The initiative anticipates supporting up to 200 students once it is fully implemented. Other benefits to the student include, special orientation programming, social and community-building activities to reinforce Virginia Tech as a community that respects and embraces the differences of all individuals, a well-established and structured academic support system, faculty mentoring, and more.

Because it is a competitive scholarship and renewed annually for four years, students receiving the award are expected to remain in overall good standing with the university and maintain a 3.0 grade point average in order to continue receiving the scholarship benefits.

“The university’s goal is to increase the number of applicants from low-income Virginian families by affording those students an opportunity to graduate with a top quality education from Virginia Tech,” said Barry Simmons, director of university scholarships and financial aid at Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative will be funded from a combination of university sources.

To be eligible for the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative, students must:

Consideration will be given to students who are first-generation college attendees, although it is not an eligibility requirement for the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative. This initiative will be offered to new, incoming students beginning in fall 2009.

Success of the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative will be monitored annually by the university.

Virginia Tech offers multiple financial assistance opportunities. More than 60 percent of students attending the university receive some type of financial aid. One example, Funds for the Future is a program designed to protect low- and middle-income undergraduate students from increases in tuition and fees. A family’s income level determines the degree of protection against an annual tuition increase. The Funds for the Future program continues to be innovative and popular with low- and middle-income families.

In addition to the numerous scholarships offered, Virginia Tech also provides information regarding work study programs, grants, loans, and graduate assistantships. Virginia Tech offers a complete listing of available scholarships and other financial aid opportunities through the Tuition and Financial Aid office.