Virginia State University will give free tuition to about 300 local students who enroll this fall, the university announced Monday.
The grant stems from the Virginia College Affordability Network, an initiative funded by the state with the intention of increasing access to undergraduate education for students with high financial need. Interested students can fill out a form, which an be found at vsu.edu.
To be eligible, a student must live within 25 miles of VSU’s campus in Ettrick, enroll as a freshman in the fall of 2021 and display financial need. In-state tuition at VSU is $9,000 a year.
VSU will give priority to students from Matoaca, Petersburg and Colonial Heights High Schools. The university will use remaining funds to cover room and board, if available, and if more aid remains, current students will be eligible.
“At Virginia State University, we continue to embrace our role as Virginia’s opportunity university,” VSU president Makola Abdullah said in a statement. “This initiative directly aligns with our strategic plan, as it allows us to directly impact students who dream of access to a quality four-year university, yet lack financial resources to attend.”
Gov. Ralph Northam allocated $3.8 million for VSU, which was approved in last year’s special session and funds VSU’s students in the Virginia College Affordability Network for two years.
The initiative also is intended to support Norfolk State University, and the governor has allocated $4.9 million toward the network in 2022.