At a special meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors held Sept. 24 in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger announced the creation of the “Funds for the Future”—a landmark financial aid program that will maintain the affordability of a Virginia Tech education to Virginia students from low and moderate income families.

Under the program, Virginia students with family incomes below $30,000 will not see their tuition and mandatory fees increase during their four years at Virginia Tech. Students from families earning between $30,000 and $75,000 will receive varying levels of financial support, depending on family income levels, that will reduce the impact of tuition and fee increases.

Almost one-third of all Virginia undergraduate students enrolled at Virginia Tech will benefit from this program. It is estimated that approximately 1,800 Virginia Tech students will receive full protection from tuition and fee increases when the program is implemented next year.

Funding for the program will come from both public and private sources. To provide increased support for financial aid, the university estimates that it will increase its commitment to undergraduate student financial aid by approximately $14.4 million by 2011-12.

The university will develop a similar program for undergraduate students from outside Virginia, to address the increasing costs assigned to out-of-state students and to maintain the geographic diversity of the student body.

“Even though Virginia Tech has the lowest total cost of any four-year institution in Virginia, it is essential that we continue to do everything we can to keep a Virginia Tech education affordable to students from families with low and moderate incomes,” said Steger. “Inevitably, tuition will rise due to increased costs and the critical need to preserve our high quality educational programs. That’s why it is important to make this commitment to our students from low and moderate income families that the impact of tuition and fee increases will be minimized.”

“My fellow board members and I are pleased with this innovative approach to protect our students from tuition and fee increases,” said Ben Davenport, Rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. “Virginia Tech is an exceptional value in higher education, but we want to make sure that we do not end up pricing our institution out of the range of deserving students from low and moderate income families. ‘Funds for the Future’ goes a long way toward addressing this issue. As the financial requirements of this program grow over time, we must remain vigilant and increase our efforts to raise private funds for this program.”

The program will apply to all students receiving financial aid. Students who are not receiving financial aid but who might benefit from the program will be asked to contact the Financial Aid Office and complete the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FASFA) form.

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