Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Richmond
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.64 / 4.00 Rob Andrejewski
Director of Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
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Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

The University of Richmond is need blind in the application review and selection of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents, ensuring that their admission to Richmond is not impacted by their family’s financial circumstances. The University meets the full demonstrated financial need for all admitted undergraduate students so that they can afford to attend Richmond.

In addition to generous need based aid, the University provides other support so that students from all financial backgrounds are able to participate in the full university experience. For example, the Richmond Guarantee provides up to $4,000 to each degree-seeking undergraduate student to fund a summer research experience or unpaid/underpaid internship. As a result, students who have financial need are not limited in their summer research or employment options. Aid is also adjusted to support study abroad, and funding is also available for many other programs, such as class-sponsored trips, special event clothing (suits for interviews, or even formal attire for our Junior Ring Dance), presentations and travel to academic conferences, and free housing during winter break for students who are not able to travel home. Students also benefit from an emergency fund, which provides funding during personal and family emergencies. There is also a fund which allows students on aid to be reimbursed for local cultural excursions, such as seeing a play or going to the symphony.

Richmond has an additional aid program for students from Virginia which provides full grant aid for tuition, room, and board to students from Virginia whose annual parental income is $60,000 or less. Further, students admitted from one of the University’s 25 partnership programs – community-based organizations like Prep for Prep or Chicago Scholars – receive award packages with their full demonstrated need met with grant funding.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The University of Richmond believes that inclusive pedagogy is advanced pedagogy and beneficial for all students.  One of the goals of our strategic plan is to ”Strengthen and expand faculty development opportunities to support inclusive pedagogy and continuing faculty innovation in the classroom.” A number of faculty learning communities in the past have been devoted to inclusive pedagogical strategies.  In 2018 the University hosted an American Colleges of the South (ACS) workshop on Inclusive Pedagogy attended by 50 of our professors.  There is an Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort sponsored by the Office of the Provost that will be leading another training seminar in the summer of 2019.   

In addition, librarians offer seminars to faculty and staff focused on the use of Open Sources texts for their courses. Staff from Spider Firsts, the University’s program for first-generation students, offer seminars to faculty advisors about supporting first-gen and low-income students in and out of the classroom.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The University offers several pre-college programs, which are available to help students with their transition to college – and these programs are available at no cost. There are programs which occur prior to orientation – Pre-O and Roadmap, for example – which help students with the transition. There is also a summer science program, which invites low income, first generation, and minority students to begin their coursework in the summer before their first year at Richmond. This academic program includes significant lab research, instilling in these students the habits of scientists and establishing them as researchers on campus. Finally, the Office of Common Ground runs a program for first generation students – the Spider First program, which includes a variety of events designed to help students acclimate to Richmond. Included in the Spider Firsts programming is a workshop on campus resources for first-generation parents during orientation. Interested students may attend the national AL1GN conference, an alliance for low-income, first-generation students, at no cost.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

First, the University meets the full demonstrated need of all students as determined by our institutional methodology. We do not “gap” aid. We also do not have a summer earnings requirement. For students who participated in one of our 25 partner programs, the full demonstrated need is met with grant funding. For students from Virginia whose annual parental income is $60,000 or less, full grant aid is provided for tuition, room, and board. Over 60% of the University’s $75M aid budget is allocated to need based aid.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The University has set up partnership programs with 25 community-based organizations or high school networks to recruit low income, first generation, and minority students. Working with these partners, UR provides additional admission and financial aid support, special campus visits, and outreach to students.

In addition, UR uses RaiseMe to identify low income and first generation students to be recruited, and promotes UR funded micro-scholarships for these students. These micro-scholarships incentivize behaviors in high school, which we know have a positive impact on college attendance, including taking AP courses, visiting college campuses, making good grades, and taking college admission tests. The University also offers fly-in programs, where UR pays for prospective and admitted students who are first generation, low income, and/or minority to come to overnight visit programs on campus.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

At Richmond, we believe that students should be able to participate in the full life of the university, and work to remove income based barriers to participation. As a result, there are no orientation or program fees. Students who participate in Sophomore Scholars in Residence or the Richmond Endeavor have travel which is funded by UR. We offer free MCAT prep. There is support available for Spider Shadowing, for interview wardrobes, for housing (and food) during the winter break for students who are unable to go home.

We are a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, signaling our commitment to continuing to increase the enrollment of Pell students, and we are using MyinTuition.org to provide a quick and simple cost estimator to make clear the affordability of a Richmond education.
Access and affordability, and a thriving and inclusive community are two pillars of most recent strategic plan.

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Degree-seeking students may qualify for financial aid and/or SPCS scholarships and can utilize the University of Richmond’s Financial Aid Office. Merit-based scholarships, need-based aid, Virginia Tuition Assistant Grant (VTAG) and loans are some of the resources available to qualified applicants. And the University’s installment plan allows you to spread tuition payments over several months.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Not offered.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Most non-traditional students enter through our part-time School of Professional and Continuing Studies. SPCS is fully staffed with academic advisors, on-site career counselors, their own student government association and access to all the library, computer labs, and other programs and services of the undergraduate population.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.