Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.94
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.11 / 4.00 Beth Armstrong
Virginia Tech University Scholarships and Financial Aid
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

Virginia Tech administers the Funds for the Future Grant to assist low-income families. The Grant protects families from future tuition increases and reduces unmet need for undergraduate students who meet certain requirements.
Virginia Tech also awards the Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant to incoming first year students and is renewable if the student meets the requirements. The grant is designed to attract, retain and graduate undergraduate students who will add to the diversity of the student body. Selection is based on a student-initiated application that collects reflective statements indicating their experiences with diversity, inclusion and the student’s philosophy of diversity as a whole. Consideration is also given to first generation students with financial need. Recipients must participate in a minimum number of diversity-related events each year in addition to keeping a journal of their activities to be submitted for review. The PCEG is awarded to 50 recipients in each incoming class.
Lastly, The Beyond Boundaries Scholarship is an initiative that awards renewable scholarships to academically high-achieving historically underserved students. Historically underserved students include any first-generation college students, any students from low-income families, and any students from regions of Virginia – such as the Southwest, Southside, and Piedmont – that are significantly underrepresented in the student body.

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

Virginia Tech offers a number of professional development courses for both faculty and staff to help them better serve all students at Virginia Tech. One example from current offerings this fall includes a pedagogy workshop for faculty entitled Inclusive Pedagogy: How Student Identities Matter.

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

Virginia Tech’s Orientation model is designed to accommodate all students and their families. Based in part to its low cost and effective scheduling has allowed 97% to 99% of new students to attend from year to year over the past 10 years. Students on average bring 1.57 family members with them. This extremely high participation rate allows Virginia Tech to deliver useful messaging to all students, including those from low income background.

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
Presidential Scholarship Initiative (PSI) further strengthens the financial aid support for Virginia low-income residents. In the past, this initiative supported an annual cohort of 85 students with a combination of grant aid to cover tuition, compensatory fees, and on-campus room and board. As a four-year renewable scholarship program, dependent upon successful academic progress, the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative supports up to 340 students annually. The intent of the scholarship program is to ensure access for academically talented Virginia undergraduate students who are from low-income (defined as Federal Pell Grant- eligible for the purpose of this program), first-generation background, and historically underserved communities.
PSI positively impacts student achievement, retention, and graduation rates for this population and it supports the university’s approved enrollment initiatives.

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

Virginia Tech is committed to facilitating college access for students from underrepresented groups, including low-income students. The university utilizes best practices to identify and engage high achieving low-income students as early as middle school. These efforts help to develop a pool of high-achieving, prospective college students from low- and middle-income families. Virginia Tech partners with 20 schools across the Commonwealth in which a majority of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Our campus and community-based outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds includes:

• Early and proactive outreach, information sharing, and support for students, parents/guardians, and teachers/counselors
• College tours and overnight visits for students, parents/guardians, and teachers/counselors
• College, financial aid, and career advising for students, parents/guardians, and teachers/counselors
• Hands-on academic programs for middle and high school students
• Summer enrichment activities middle and high school students
• K-12 teacher and counselor professional development in the form of Virginia Tech faculty-led workshops and follow-up mentoring
• Parents-as-partners workshops
• Application fee waivers for prospective students
• College transition and orientation activities for students
• Designated scholarships and financial aid, including the Presidential Scholarship Initiative (room, board, tuition and fees for high-ability Pell eligible students) and Funds for the Future Grant (that prevents tuition and mandatory fees increase during the students’ four years at Virginia Tech).

Taken together, these strategies help to (1) enhance students’ academic preparation for college; (2) improve the alignment of curricula and existing services at all institutions to enhance college readiness, application, and acceptance; and (3) achieve increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates of diverse and underrepresented students.

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

Enrollment Management/Undergraduate Admissions Programs
Hosted the Hispanic College Institute
In 2017, Virginia Tech hosted the Hispanic College Institute, a program partnership with Virginia Tech and VALHEN, the largest Latino non-profit focused on education in Virginia. This program targets high performing Hispanic high school students who may not have been considering college. After completion of the program, the number who consider college increased from 25% to 100%. Our campus has already agreed to host the program again next year.
Co-hosted Campus Connection Day
In partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, 33 African American students attended this special event in December. 17 of the 33 were offered admission and 12 of those students accepted the offer of admission.
Expanded Fall Visitation Program
In 2016, year we hosted our largest Fall Visitation program to date. We welcomed 250 students (400 total guests). 99% of the students attending Fall Visitation submitted an application and 84% of those were offered admission
Expanded Gateway Program
This year’s Gateway hosted a record group of 150 students. This program has a 5-year average yield rate of over 80%.
Yates Project
Members, known as Yates Ambassadors, serve the university as official ambassadors in their hometowns and local communities. Membership is comprised of a diverse group of student leaders from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The Yates Project supports the university’s diversity recruitment initiatives by targeting populations that are historically under represented at Virginia Tech which include students that identify as Black or African American, Hispanic and/or Latino, Native American and Indigenous; students from lower socioeconomic status; college access and pipeline programs; and students from rural areas of Appalachia.

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:

The Virginia Tech Graduate School supports three child-care and family-support focused programs for graduate and undergraduate students associated with the university’s commitment to a work-life friendly atmosphere. The programs comprise a parent support group, a babysitting clearinghouse, and a cooperative play group for children ages 2-5 called Little Hokie Hangout. They are open to all graduate and undergraduate students.

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:

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

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:

VT Enrollment Management/Research and Analysis/VT Institutional Research

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.