Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.02
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Oct. 15, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Kimberly Andrews
Upward Bound/Talent Search
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

Virginia Tech participates in Upward Bound and Talent Search Programs. Both programs are funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The goal is to encourage and prepare low income and prospective first-generation students for college. http://www.ubts.vt.edu/

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

Virginia Tech has established two very effective programs to assist low-income students. The “Funds for the Future” program seeks to accomplish two objectives: (1) Protect certain groups of low-income undergraduates from tuition and fees increase, (2) Reduce unmet need for certain groups of low income undergraduates. By doing this, Virginia Tech hopes to increase the affordability for students to attend Virginia Tech by increasing instructional funding for student aid. Also, the “Presidential Campus Enrichment Awards” assists academically talented, low-income high school students from Virginia who demonstrate persistence and a commitment to academic excellence. d.

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

The university’s academic advisors meet regularly to discuss strategies for supporting students from low-income backgrounds. However, to be aware of and understand the hurdles many students from low or impoverished households may encounter, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend classes at the Diversity Development Institute (DDI). Created at the recommendation of the Provost’s Task Force on Race and the Institution, the Diversity Development Institute provides a structured curriculum through which any employee at Virginia Tech can extend their diversity competencies and thereby positively influence their working and learning environments.

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

The most comprehensive program that targets students from low-income backgrounds are the TRIO Programs: Upward Bound and Talent Search Programs. These programs are outlined in item number one, above. The Student Success Center also offers free academic support, such as tutoring and study skills seminars to undergraduate students at Virginia Tech (https://www.studentsuccess.vt.edu/).

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

MAOP Undergraduate Scholars Program -- https://www.maop.vt.edu/index.html
Undergraduate students with unmet financial need and a strong academic record receive financial support in exchange for a commitment of academic support, service and participation. The scholarship is renewable and is open to Virginia residents only.

The Presidential Scholarship Initiative
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. Please see http://www.finaid.vt.edu/types_of_aid/scholarships/pres_scholarship_initiative/psi.html

The Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid (USFA) and the Student Success Center sponsor the Virginia Tech Student Support Grants Program (SSGP). This initiative is designed to improve the retention and graduation rates of the undergraduate student population and to contribute to the development of student leaders on campus. Please see https://www.studentsuccess.vt.edu/Academic_Excellence/Student_Support_Grant_Program.html

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

The Office of Admissions provides a resource page for First Generation students: http://www.admiss.vt.edu/first-generation-students/

Admissions also provides the Spring Gateway Program -- https://secure.hosting.vt.edu/www.admiss.vt.edu/visit/register/index.php/gateway --

Gateway: Embrace VT is a unique program where admitted students are welcomed to campus for a weekend of social activities and to learn more about life at Virginia Tech and the vast opportunities offered.

Participants are grouped together with hosts that are current Virginia Tech students from similar backgrounds or who have similar areas of interest. Further details of the weekend and schedule of events can be found on this site.

Admissions also hosts the Fall Open House -- https://secure.hosting.vt.edu/www.admiss.vt.edu/visit/register/index.php/openhouse --

At Virginia Tech’s Open House, students come see the beauty of our campus, learn about our challenging and plentiful programs of study, and talk with current students about life on campus. They also find out more about financial aid, take a campus tour, and have a chance to find out more about Tech’s opportunities outside the classroom.

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid provides a resource page for parents: http://www.finaid.vt.edu/Parents/index.html. Below are some resources provided to students and parents:
o Flash.Mail, the USFA monthly newsletter. In addition to the current issue, Flash.Mail archives offer information for different times of the school year.
o Videos and tutorials from both USFA and the University Bursar.
o Guest Access Information Gateway, where parents can see financial aid information such as the award letter, requirements, financial aid holds, academic progress, cost of attendance, and loan history.
o The USFA website has important notices on its main page as well as many information links to costs, applications, loans, scholarships, appeals and other tools.
o Two loan programs are available to help pay for tuition and fees: Parent PLUS, where the parent is the borrower, and the Private/Alternative, where the student is the borrower and the parent can co-sign the loan.
o The Budget Tuition Plan, offered by the University Bursar, allows the opportunity to pay your student's bill in installments.

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

Virginia Tech has a pre-college ambassadors program which has provided college information and planning assistance through Virginia Tech Opportunity Camps and direct outreach through external community partners such as Girl Scouts, College Bound Pre-College Program for students with disabilities, and various school divisions in the State of Virginia.

The following academic colleges have ambassador and/or recruitment programs:
• College of Agriculture and Life Sciences -- www.cals.vt.edu/academic-programs/ambassadors/
• College of Architecture and Urban Studies -- http://www.causdiversity.arch.vt.edu/ambassadors.html
• Pamplin College of Business -- http://www.undergrad.pamplin.vt.edu/ambassadors/
• College of Engineering – has several ambassador programs at the department level.
• College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences -- http://www.undergraduate.clahs.vt.edu/special-programs/college-ambassadors/index.html
• College of Natural Resources – has a graduate student recruiter and an ambassadors group -- http://cnre.vt.edu/students/clubs-organizations/ambassadors/index.html
• College of Science Dean’s Leadership Council -- http://www.science.vt.edu/people/dlc/
• Veterinary Medicine -- https://www.vetmed.vt.edu/news/2013/college_ambassadors.asp

A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

Funds for the Future - http://www.finaid.vt.edu/types_of_aid/grants/funds-future/index.html

Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant - http://www.finaid.vt.edu/types_of_aid/grants/pceg/pceg.html

Diversity Development Institute - http://www.diversity.vt.edu/ddi/

Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program - http://www.maop.vt.edu/

Upward Bound and Talent Search - http://www.ubts.vt.edu/

And see specific programs listed above.

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.