The Cavalier Daily
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Helping out financial aid

The Board of Visitors Finance Committee's proposal to reduce the amount of financial aid to out-of-state students would eliminate the minute specks of diversity already existing at the University. Coming from a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in New York City, I have helped shift the University's student demographics, while also benefitting hugely from the financial aid system. Attending school out of state was something I never thought I could do because I came from an economically disadvantaged family. The University's financial aid system, however, has given me access to a variety of opportunities. I am the only person from my neighborhood in the South Bronx going to college right now, mainly because no one in my neighborhood considers college a priority or has access to buffers from financial hardship.

The University should not decrease the amount of financial aid given to out-of-state students because AccessUVa is a spark attracting marginalized students from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. There needs to be a system which will allow more socioeconomically diverse students to attend a so-called "elite, public Ivy," while also challenging the ideas and components of what it means to be a University student. Yes, I may wear run-down Nike shoes because I cannot afford Sperry's, but I am emblematic of the ideas Thomas Jefferson bestowed upon the University: educational access to everyone. He wanted students who were less wealthy to enjoy the benefits of acquiring knowledge, something I have indulged in for my past three years at the University. Without socioeconomic diversity, students themselves will lack the knowledge to understand the world that exists outside of Virginia, a world which is diverse politically, socioeconomically and culturally.

Jasmine Drake\nCLAS '13

 

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