To: George Martin, Rector, UVA Board of Visitors, William Goodwin, Vice Rector, UVA Board of Visitors, Frank Atkinson, Member, UVA Board of Visitors, Hunter Craig, Member, UVA Board of Visitors, Allison DiNardo, Member, UVA Board of Visitors...

Keep UVA Affordable and Reinstate No Loan Policy NOW!

Victory! The creator of this petition declared the campaign a success. You can still sign the petition to show support.

Cutting the AccessUVa financial aid program is a serious mistake that walks away from the University of Virginia's outstanding commitment to ensuring access for students who come from poor families and cannot afford to graduate with added debt. Many would not attend UVA, or college at all, without the program. We, the undersigned, request that UVA's no-loan policy for talented, very low-income students be reinstated in its entirety immediately.

Why is this important?

I was proud to attend the University of Virginia, which became a national model for student financial aid when it launched AccessUVa in 2004. The AccessUVa program leveled the playing field for aspiring students from low-income families already burdened with high debt or high financial need, so that they too could attend UVA. It increased diversity among the student body, and it gave back to the Commonwealth of Virginia and the country as any leading public college should.

From 2004 to 2009, the number of low income students who were able to attend UVA debt-free increased by 10 percent. The program made college affordable for students like me, who otherwise wouldn't even consider applying to the University of Virginia. Despite a $5 billion endowment that has more than doubled since 2001 and makes UVA one of the richest colleges in the nation, the Board of Visitors - a Governor-appointed board responsible for long-term planning for the University - recently voted to cut funding to the AccessUVa program. This measure could force thousands of students from poor and near poor families to take out nearly $30,000 in student loans. It will prevent talented young people from joining the ranks of proud Virginia students and alumni.

Ending AccessUVa as we know it breaks UVA's commitment to student quality and hurts the University in ways that will be felt for years. Join me in signing this petition and demand that the Board of Visitors fully reinstate the Access UVA financial aid program to keep UVA accessible and affordable for all students.

-- Mary Nguyen Barry, Class of 2010