In August The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors cut back a financial aid program – AccessUVA – aimed at increasing the number of low-income students at the university. Given the impact the cut will have and the struggles that UVA* – and most of its peer institutions – have with economic diversity the cut received surprisingly little attention. But student activists and concerned alumni have launched a viral campaign, engaged some influential national interest groups, some elected officials are weighing-in, and they’re strategically targeting alumni and donors with one on one outreach – some of whom are pledging to withhold support in protest. This won’t lead to anything like the fireworks of last summer, but keep an eye on it. Other universities considering similar measures surely are.
*Disc – I have a master’s from UVA and am Vice Chair of the Board of the Curry School Foundation at UVA. The foundation has no role in decisions like this and my views are my own.