Virginia families earning $40,000 or less may send their children to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise at no cost for tuition or fees under a new program called UVA Wise Within Reach, starting in the fall of 2020. The program is only available to full-time, degree seeking students from Virginia who are eligible to receive in-state tuition.

UVA Wise officials unveiled the new program Wednesday. College leaders said the UVA Wise Within Reach program helps UVA Wise stay true to its original mission to provide access to higher education for all Virginians.

“The program lets us help Virginia families realize the dream of a college degree is within reach,” UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “We know families often face a steep financial burden when the time comes to send their children to college. We hope the program will alleviate some of the worry and financial stress families feel during what is normally a pivotal and exciting time for students and parents.”

UVA Wise serves many first generation college students, and more than 80 percent of its students receive federal and state financial aid. Generous benefactors have created numerous private scholarships as well. UVA Wise will rethink the way it combines state and federal financial aid with the private scholarships to make the UVA Wise Within Reach program work.

“We listened to our students and their families talk about the heavy cost of attending college,” Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Chris Dearth said. “We are restructuring our state, federal and institutional financial aid in innovative ways to meet the needs. My staff is excited to begin this work to help many Virginia families with an extra boost.”

Dearth said the program will allow qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree without debt.

“Earning a degree with no debt is truly liberating for our graduates,” Dearth said. “It gives them the financial freedom to pursue a career or to attend graduate or professional school without the worry of crippling student loan debt.”

UVA Wise Within Reach is simple, and it begins with Virginia students completing their FAFSA forms by Feb. 15 and be admitted to the College by the same date. Students who qualify for additional institutional grants or scholarships will have those funds added to the financial aid award up to, but not exceeding, the cost of attendance. Students must qualify for the program each of the four years of enrollment and must meet minimum academic requirements.

“Senior leadership has looked at the program from all angles,” Chancellor Henry said. “UVA Wise prides itself on providing a quality education that is accessible and affordable. UVA Wise Within Reach allows us to do just that, and we are eager to start this transformative program.”

College officials will start immediately sending details of the program to prospective students, parents, guidance counselors and others who are interested in the program.  For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions at 276-328-0102  or email Chris Dearth at admissions@uvawise.edu. Full details are available at: https://www.uvawise.edu/admissions/within-reach/