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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.95
Liaison Erin Stanforth
Submission Date July 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Virginia Commonwealth University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.26 / 4.00 Jacek Ghosh
Director of Sustainability
VCU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

VCU offers work-study jobs, grants, installment payment plans, loans, scholarships, and veteran benefits for low-income students.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

VCU human resources offers diversity training to all faculty and staff. This training includes topics of age, class, race, ethnicity, gender, and more.


A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Students that demonstrate need are chosen for the work-study program which allows students to work during the semester for funds.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Many of the departments offer need-based scholarships including Clinical Laboratory Sciences, School of Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, and Study Abroad, as well as others.


A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

VCU admissions has a website dedicated to helping parents understand and learn how to finance college.


A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Our Pathways to Success program is a college preparation series designed to share information with Richmond public high school students about the college selection process that will help them gain a better understanding of the opportunities available at VCU and other institutions of higher education. The program is held twice during an academic year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

We also host a program for Latino high school students and their families entitled Primeros Pasos or First Steps. It is a one-day program designed to motivate and encourage Latino high school students to attend college.

In addition to these programs we also host and welcome campus visit by various outreach organizations, including Project Discovery, AVID and Gear Up. Furthermore, we have established a partnership with the Center for Student Opportunity (CSO), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting higher education opportunities for first-generation and other undeserved college-bound students.


A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

VCU offers extensive information to prospective students and parents about the cost of attending VCU as well as options for financing a college education. The VCU Admissions Office and the Office of Financial Aid provide step by step guides to applying for financial aid.


A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

VCU financial aid makes information to students available on grants, scholarships, work-study, veterans benefits and an installment payment plan for tuition.


A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

While VCU does not offer scholarships specifically for part-time students we do have a National Scholarship Office where students can learn about and apply to scholarships outside of VCU that may be applicable to part-time students.


A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The VCU Child Development Center is a full-day, inclusive young children's program which provides high-quality care and education for the children of VCU faculty, staff, and student families. The Center's unique relationship with the School of Education allows it to serve as a learning lab for student pre-service experiences, faculty research, and community outreach and education.


A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:
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Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:
Yes

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 29
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 58.60
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 4
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 34

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:
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The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.