I am not from Virginia, but AccessUVa still matters to me

    274
    0
    SHARE

    A lot of people may wonder why those of us not affiliated with the University of Virginia or a Virginia resident care about the bad decision by the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors to cut funding to their AccessUVa program; a program that kept debt low for their students. We care because the fight for college affordability must take on any and every initiative that keeps students' debt-free.

    A lot of people may wonder why those of us not affiliated with the University of Virginia or a Virginia resident care about the bad decision by the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors to cut funding to their AccessUVa program; a program that kept debt low for their students. We care because the fight for college affordability must take on any and every initiative that keeps students' debt-free.

    Take me, for example. As a recent graduate of a large institution in the South, my university didn’t have a groundbreaking program like AccessUVa. I graduated with thousands of dollars in student loan debt; debt that will take me years to pay off and delay my decision of purchasing a home, a car, or even attending graduate school.

    A quality college education at an elite institution like UVa should not be available only to those who can afford it. As UVa once said, AccessUVa made college possible for those who “had the brains but not the bucks.”  So why reverse almost a decade of progress now? The decision to completely eradicate the no-loan policy from the AccessUVa program – which has helped UVa alumni make college a reality—will only increase student debt for thousands of low and middle income students attending UVa next fall. There is still time for us to stop this from happening, sign the petition telling UVa’s Board of Visitors they made the wrong decision, and to reverse it immediately!

    The petition, which seeks to keep UVa affordable and accessible for future students, has already gained thousands of supporters, many of whom who are not UVa alumni or Virginia residents, but people who simply care. Here are some their comments:

    Diane, an educator from Florida voices that she “will never be able to pay off the student loan incurred to obtain the education necessary to contribute to the education of the future leaders of the USA, I believe programs like AccessUVa financial aid makes it possible for those passionate about leading this country, to gain the best education possible. Why would any citizen disagree?! Why would UVA want to take that away from their students or the institution they represent? KEEP AccessUVa AVAILABLE FOR THE DESERVING STUDENTS IT SERVES!!!”

    Crystal Ann from Michigan holds that “without [the AccessUVa program] support from UVA, many students will suffer undue burdens from trying to better themselves and our society through education. I beg you to reinstate the no-loan policy in support of the low-income education and the American dream. “

    Clifford from Illinois echoes that “higher education policy has to favor the education of all students in order to invest in the future. I hope the UVA Board makes the needed changes in the loan policy and does the right thing.”

    Safiya from Pennsylvania reminds us of the students who have the smarts but not always the finances to attend a top college: “I would not have earned my degree as an Echols Scholar without extensive financial aid. And I wouldn't have gone on to Yale if I had been burdened with significant debt!”

    And Rosemary Doherty from Indiana says it straightforward and accurately that “we need more policies like the UVA No Loan Policy- NOT FEWER!”

    Their comments show that Americans recognize that the fight to keep college costs down is a fight that we all must support. AccessUVa was model program that made high quality education affordable and accessible to students who wouldn’t be able to attend without it. It’s a shame that UVa decided to decrease funding to the program, adding more student debt to the nation’s $1.1 trillion. Please add your voices to the campaign by calling on UVa’s Board of Visitors to restore full funding to the AccessUVa program! Every voice matters!

    Cross-posted at Daily Kos, and I Am Not A Loan