​LETTER: Questions about Affordable Excellence

What is missing for me in making a judgment about the announced tuition increase and the concomitant lowering of the debt burden expected of University student families is data on how many and which families will be negatively impacted. What is the threshold at which a family will not be provided any financial aid? Before and after the two new $1,000 yearly increases. How rich or wealthy must a student family be before no aid is offered? What is the percentage of student families at the University in this category, i.e., what is the percentage of families that will not receive any financial aid due to their wealth? And, conversely, how poor must a family be before they receive the maximum financial aid from the University? I know there is a sliding scale between the two and several factors impact the financial aid decisions but I need to understand, by some examples, how this plays out in the real world.

I see no problem in the rich paying more of the real cost of a University education, even if some of this payment is used to offset the fees for poor families of qualified students. But, please, show me some numbers and family situations so I can evaluate this new program.

Could The Cavalier Daily do some investigation and deliver some numbers and scenarios or even some graphs, to demonstrate who and how much the tuition increase will affect University student families? Also, how many and what percentage of families will be negatively impacted?

Is the real cost of a University education equal to the tuition cost for out-of-state students, $39,000? Is this the true market value? If it is, do not Virginia students, even those who do not qualify for financial aid, get a very good bargain since the in-state-tuition ($10,404) is nearly one quarter of the out-of-state tuition ($38,988)? Do wealthy Virginia families who get no financial aid really have cause to complain?

Steven Lowe

CLAS ’72

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