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Recently, UVA's governing board, the Board of Visitors, voted to overhaul the AccessUVa program and scale back funding for it.

For almost a decade, the University of Virginia (UVA) had been a leader in college access for low-income students with its program. This program enabled students who have the brains, but not the bucks, to attend the institution without having to rely on hefty student loans. 

Students who already have trouble paying for college will now have to take out nearly $30,000 in student loans to attend UVA, saddling these students with far too much debt once they graduate. 

The next Board of Visitors meeting is scheduled for September 19th, giving us little over a month to raise our voices and let UVA know that they are making a HUGE mistake by decreasing funding for this groundbreaking program. 

With an endowment of over $5 billion, UVA should not be deferring thousands of bright, prospective students from attending because of student debt

As Chelsea Pierson, a UVA graduate, stated in the comments section of the petition urging the Board of Vistors to restore funding to the program:

Had AccessUVa not provided a full grant scholarship for me, I would not have been able to attend UVa. Without it, I would not be about to embark on a journey, teaching in abroad in the UK. I would never have been able to afford an education had this program not made it possible. Please don't keep others from changing the world. This program made it possible for me. Cutting the AccessUVa program will make it IMPOSSIBLE for many.
A high-quality education does not have to mean high student debt.With our nation facing a cumulative student debt of over one trillion dollars, it's time for colleges to accept responsibility for their role in our college affordability crisis. 

To help, sign the petition to tell UVA's Board of Visitors to keep UVA affordable to low-income students and restore funding to AccessUVa.

Cross-Posted at I AM NOT A LOAN and Blue Virginia. 

Originally posted to i am not a loan on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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