New UVA president promises free tuition for Virginia families earning less than $80K

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia’s newest president wants to make a college education more affordable for families in the Commonwealth.

During his inaugural address on Friday, Jim Ryan vowed to make tuition free for Virginia families that earn less than $80,000 a year, with typical assets. He also promised that the university would cover tuition, room and board for students from Virginia families earning less than $30,000.

According to UVA Today writer Caroline Newman, Ryan’s pledge “represent[s] the first promise that the approach for Virginia families at those income thresholds is now a formal University commitment.”

“I see a community that opens wide the door to opportunity for first-generation, low- and middle-income students,” Ryan said. “There is more work to be done in this space, there will be more work done in this space, but we might as well get started.”

Tuition for in-state students at UVA is $13,682 for the 2018-2019 school year.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also spoke at the ceremony.

Ryan is a first-generation college student who attended Yale University and UVA’s School of Law on a scholarship. He is just the ninth president in UVA’s 200-year history, succeeding the school’s first woman president, Teresa A. Sullivan. The university named him president in September 2017.

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