The University’s Board of Visitors approved a proposal Tuesday which will increase the enrollment of in-state undergraduate students by up to 100 for the upcoming academic year. The BOV also authorized the “Cornerstone Grant,” which will expand the University’s financial aid program to give grants to qualifying full-time undergraduate Virginians from middle-income families.The Cornerstone Grant will receive an estimated $15 million in initial funding over the next three years from the University’s $2.2 billion Strategic Investment Fund. The grant will allow for qualifying first- and second-year in-state students from families with an income of less than $125,000 to become eligible to receive a $2,000 Cornerstone Grant. Qualifying third-year students will be extended a similar opportunity to receive a grant worth $1,000. Board of Visitors Rector William H. Goodwin Jr. said he believes the Cornerstone Grant is a critical addition to making a University education a reality for talented in-state students who have academic qualifications and the desire to succeed. “A college degree should be within reach of anyone with the academic qualifications and the desire to succeed, but achieving that goal is increasingly difficult for some families,” Goodwin said in an email statement. “U.Va. is proud to build on our leadership position by maximizing both the opportunities and the affordability for middle-class Virginians while continuing to take steps to ensure U.Va. remains among the finest public universities in the country.” University President Teresa Sullivan said the board’s plans regarding access and affordability enable the University to meet admitted student’s needs without pre-screening their family’s finances. “Our strategy for access and affordability keeps U.Va. on a sustainable financial path that increases quality, opens our doors wider to Virginians and cements our commitment to fully meet the needs of admitted students without any pre-screening of their family financial situation,” Sullivan said in an email statement. At least half of the 100 new enrollment slots being extended to in-state undergraduates will be made available to first-year students with admission preference being given to those applying to the School of Architecture as well as the School of Engineering and Applied Science. A combination of students including first-year entrants in spring or summer terms, distance learners and transfers will fill the remaining new enrollment slots. After the initial three-year period of the Cornerstone Grant and enrollment of 100 new in-state students is over, funding for both will be incorporated into the annual operating budget.