High school students can waive their college application fees if they tour three private colleges during Virginia Private College Week, which will be held July 27 through August 1, 2009. Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, along with 24 other private colleges belonging to the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), are joining together to sponsor a statewide series of free campus open houses and information sessions on admissions and financial aid for secondary school students and their families. Students who visit three or more campuses during Virginia Private College Week will receive application fee waivers at any three CICV institutions. With application fees ranging from $25 to $50, students could save as much as $150. Last year, nearly 2,447 prospective students and parents visited CICV colleges during Virginia Private College Week. “Virginia Private College Week is an opportunity for students and parents to see firsthand the quality, diversity and affordability of private colleges in the Commonwealth,” said Robert R. Lindgren, president of Randolph-Macon College. R-MC director of admissions and enrollment research, Anthony Ambrogi added, “We encourage alumni, parents, and friends to become ambassadors by inviting prospective students and their families to visit R-MC and learn the real value of a private, liberal arts education.” Virginia private colleges gave students more than $270 million in scholarships and grants last year. Also, in-state students attending a Virginia private college are eligible to receive the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) for a maximum of four years. This year’s grant is approximately $3,000 and is not based on need or merit. Admission and financial aid informational sessions, along with campus tours, will be offered at each of the participating colleges at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 9 a.m. at most of the colleges on Saturday, August 1. College officials will also address some common myths about the cost of a private college education.Common Myths about a Private College Education 1. Myth: Tuition at a private college is too expensive, 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 nearly $300 million in grants and scholarships. 2. Myth: It’s difficult for a middle-class family to afford a private college education. 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, on average, students attending private colleges 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: There will be less assistance from government sources. Reality: For more than 30 years, Virginia residents attending a private college in the Commonwealth have received a Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) from the state. TAG is not based on need or merit and is available for four years at the undergraduate level. The state budget passed by lawmakers earlier this year provides for a $3,000 TAG award in 2009-10. In addition, while the credit crunch is limiting the availability of private loans, federal loans and grants are unlikely to be affected by the recession. 4. 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. In today’s competitive marketplace, the benefits of graduating from a private liberal arts college are more valuable than ever. Students learn to think critically, analytically, and creatively and to communicate well – attributes sought by employers in all professions. For more information about Virginia Private College Week, contact the CICV at (540) 586-0606 or click on Private College Week. The admissions offices of participating colleges and universities also can provide details. The Admissions Office at Randolph-Macon College can be reached at www.rmc.edu or 1-800-888-1762. In addition, register online to visit R-MC during Virginia Private College Week at www.rmc.edu/Admissions/comevisit.aspx. Colleges participating in the event include: • Averett University, Danville • Bluefield College, Bluefie• Bridgewater College, Bridgewater • Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg• Emory & Henry College, Emory • Ferrum College, Ferrum • Hampden-Sydney, Hampden-Sydney • Hampton University, Hampton • Hollins University, Roanoke • Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke • Liberty University, Lynchburg • Lynchburg College, Lynchburg• Mary Baldwin College, Staunton • Marymount University, Arlington • Randolph-Macon College, Ashland • Randolph College, Lynchburg • Roanoke College, Salem • Saint Paul’s College, Lawrenceville • Shenandoah University, Winchester • Sweet Briar College, Amherst • University of Richmond, Richmond • Virginia Intermont College, Bristol • Virginia Union University, Richmond • Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk/VA Beach • Washington and Lee University, Lexington
On Thursday, July 23, 2009, Lindgren conducted an interview on CBS/WTVR Channel 6 in Richmond, Va.