Prospective students and parents are invited to learn just how affordable it is to obtain a private, liberal arts education at Randolph-Macon College. On Saturday, January 24, 2009, starting at 10:00 a.m., Randolph-Macon and 24 other Virginia private colleges will hold a special, one day WRAP session (Within Reach and Personal) on their campuses to help families learn how this education remains within reach financially. This event will be held in the Thomas Branch Atrium located on campus at 114 College Avenue. If you plan to attend, please R.S.V.P. by contacting R-MC’s financial aid office at (804) 752-7259 or email@example.com. President Robert R. Lindgren will kick off R-MC’s session. Admissions and financial aid staffs will be available to work with families, individually, to show them that financial assistance is available and to discuss their personal questions and needs. The WRAP Sessions, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), will focus on alleviating some of the tuition stress felt by families, and will include a presentation aimed at dispelling some of the following common myths about the cost of a private college education: 1. Myth: Tuition at a private college is beyond reach, and a state school always costs less. Reality: Many students pay considerably less than the published tuition price at a private college. The difference between public and private college tuition is far less than many families assume, thanks to significant merit and need-based grants and the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG). Last year, private colleges awarded more than $270 million in grants and scholarships. 2. Myth: It’s easy for a high income family to afford a private college education. It’s much more difficult for a middle-class family. Reality: Now more than ever, private colleges are protecting their financial aid budgets and enrolling students from all income levels. In fact, national studies have shown that students attending private colleges, on average, have a similar family income as those attending public colleges. In Virginia, private colleges enroll a higher percentage of federal Pell Grant recipients (typically students from families with incomes of $40,000 or less) and minority students than public colleges. 3. Myth: Public or private college – it doesn’t make any difference. Reality: Parents should compare the time it takes to graduate as well as overall graduation rates, class size, student/faculty ratio, and personal attention received by students. Private colleges will rank favorably. 4. Myth: There will be less assistance from government sources. Reality: Last month, Governor Kaine’s proposed budget protected funding for the undergraduate TAG award, which provides an annual grant of $3,200 to Virginia residents attending a private college in the state. Furthermore, federal loans and grants are unlikely to be affected by the recession. To participate in the WRAP Session at Randolph-Macon College, contact R-MC’s financial aid office at (804) 752-7259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.