During UVa’s most recent home football game against Duke, thousands of students held their breath as the winner of free tuition for a semester was announced. Having raffles like these so early in the year is quite rare, but many students jumped at the opportunity, willing to tolerate the sweltering heat in hopes of hearing their name announced over the loudspeaker in the 4th quarter.
“I actually went to the game specifically for the tuition raffle,” said first year Molly Childers, later admitting that she had to leave at half-time due to the heat.
“Hypothetically, if I had been there and won, I would’ve been ecstatic. I’m the third kid in my family to go off to a four year university, so money can be tight for us and any little bit helps.”
First year Hannah Thompson shared the same sentiment, saying that she and her parents would have been “psyched.”
It is undoubtable that any student would have been thrilled to win free tuition, even if only for a semester. The average yearly tuition for an in-state student is around $30,000; out-of-state students have a bigger bill, often having to pay upwards of $60,000 per year. These figures leave students, especially those who are out-of-state and/or low income, wishing that UVa would do more to aid them financially.
“I think anybody would love for UVa to provide more opportunities to ease the burden of tuition for its students,” said Childers. “Especially since it’s one of the top 20 richest universities in the United States.”
“As an out-of-state student, I do think UVa should increase the opportunity to win more free tuition packages,” added third year Finbar Curtin.
Thompson suggested that, along with holding raffles that encourage students to attend home games, the university should “look at places where cuts can be made, increase efforts for donations, increase abilities to get scholarships, [and] encourage students to apply for outside scholarships.”
To put it simply for Curtin, UVa should just “give some more gosh darn financial aid.”