The University of Virginia will not take immigration status into consideration for admitting prospective students going forward. President Jim Ryan announced today that all students are welcome to apply and will be eligible for admission, regardless of their citizenship status. This announcement comes with hope from Virginia’s leadership that the opportunity to include more students will make the University community stronger and more diverse.
“We should be open to all qualified applicants,” said President Ryan. “This decision is an important step in the right direction.”
Gov. Ralph Northam got the ball rolling with a recent law he signed granting all college students in-state eligibility as long as they attend high school in Virginia and have valid tax returns for two years prior to their enrollment. Immigration status will no longer be a factor of consideration for tuition effective July 1st.
The University’s policy creates the opportunity to admit any student. This includes those who are newly eligible for in-state tuition, as well as those who will apply from out-of-state, and students will no longer need to obtain DACA status.
This decision by the University is a huge victory for undocumented student activists who have been fighting for these rights for years. Despite this accomplishment, the University cannot legally provide financial aid to students who are not lawful U.S citizens. This will require students to seek private aid, creating just one more obstacle on their path to higher education. The University acknowledges the need for equity in this and is working to resolve these issues in the coming year, using University-affiliated foundations.
On its path to becoming even more diverse with the development of a racial equity task force, the University’s decision to be inclusive of all students regardless of their background was intentional and timely.
“Fundamentally, we need to acknowledge, regardless of status, that every qualified young adult deserves an education. As an institution that recruits the best and brightest students from around the world, UVA must stand in support of admitting students regardless of their immigration status,” said UVA Rector James B. Murray