RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools says it’s extending the deadline for 8th-grade students to apply for a college scholarship program.
The “VUU is RVA” program is looking for 50 RPS 8th graders to award free tuition to the university.
RPS Community Partnership Coordinator Grady Hart tells 8News the April 15th deadline is now pushed back to April 29th.
Hart says parents and students asked for more time to get the applications in.
Virginia Union University and Richmond Public Schools partnered to provide 50 full scholarships to 8th-grade students after high school graduation.
Superintendent Jason Kamras, VUU President Hakim Lucas and Mayor Levar Stoney announced the partnership this past November.
The partnership was made to help the Richmond community gain access to academic, economic, medical, cultural, and civic support.
The university scholars will be assigned a mentor within RPS, who graduated from VUU, to help them prepare for college. They will also take part in summer programs designed for college readiness.
One semester of tuition at Virginia Union University costs nearly $7700 dollars, according to the school’s website.
At that rate — four years of tuition could cost a student more than $60,000 dollars.
“VUU is RVA” scholarships would eliminate that cost for 50 students.
“I think it’s so important everybody buys in and invests in our youth,” said Maurice Campbell, Senior Vice President of Corporate and External Affairs at VUU.
“Everybody deserves a chance to go to college and that’s what we really really believe in here at VUU,” added Campbell.
Some may argue that 8th grade is an early age to commit to college plans — but Campbell says it’s about investing in the future generation.
“For a future pipeline of workforce development that will open up to the broader Richmond community access to education, health, cultural, and civic engagement,” said Campbell.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s office released a statement to 8News about the program:
“The Mayor believes education is the gateway to opportunity and success for our children. He supports this partnership and believes VUU is making a difference in our community and building One Richmond by providing our RPS students with this opportunity.”
Many questions still remain about this scholarship opportunity.
At the current rate of tuition at VUU — the cost for 50 students to attend for four years totals more than $3,000,000 dollars.
It is unclear where that money is coming from — though VUU says it is still looking for partners and sponsors.
Applications are highly competitive, full criteria can be found here.
RPS says interested parents and students should be on the lookout for workshops to help them with the application process.
The deadline to apply has been extended to April 29.