Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85, VMI superintendent, signed a memorandum of understanding with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, providing VMI nearly $4 million over four years to boost enrollment and success of low-income and Pell Grant-eligible cadets at the Institute.
State funding for approved activities is intended to both demonstrate the Commonwealth’s dedicated commitment to the broader purpose and to assist VMI with implementation of activities that may otherwise not take place or experience delayed implementation.
Included in the budget for each of the four years are scholarships for the Summer Transition Program, designed to improve academic and physical fitness and to assimilate matriculating high school students into the VMI experience. Those scholarships cover most of the costs for in-state students and half the costs for out-of-state students. In addition, there will be an office dedicated to strategic enrollment, academic support coordinators, interactive online post tours to assist those unable to travel to Lexington, and travel vouchers for families to attend admissions open house events for those who are unable to afford the trip otherwise. Emergency financial assistance for cadets will also be available on a case-by-case basis.
According to Lt. Col. Shannon Eskam, director of financial aid, VMI is implementing a holistic approach in expanding college and degree access to the eligible students. “We are very excited about this funding opportunity. This will give VMI the flexibility to implement some short- and long-term initiatives related to the recruitment and retention of cadets,” she said.
Lt. Col. Joe Hagy, director of admissions, stated that while cost remains the primary barrier to college entry, progression, and completion for low-income students and families, it is rarely the only barrier they face. “This funding opportunity will allow VMI to implement new strategies to assist more Pell-eligible cadets, thus creating a more socio-economically diverse class of matriculants each year. In partnership with SCHEV, we are excited to move forward with a bold plan and new strategies that align with the Institute’s strategic plan and SCHEV’s goals of closing access and completion gaps, lowering costs to students, and expanding prosperity across the Commonwealth,” he said.
For additional information regarding admissions and financial aid, visit vmi.edu.
Marianne Hause VMI Communications & Marketing
Editor's Note: Story originally published by Virginia Military Institute.