College of Arts & Sciences ’10
As a tenth grader, Portia Henry started working every weekend and every week-night as a cashier at Rite Aid Pharmacy to help her family. By her senior year in high school, she was working two jobs, and her mother was working one and looking for another. As college loomed on the horizon, The Educational Talent Search program offered Henry help with the college application process and paid her application fees. She applied to nine colleges and got into all of them. The choice came down to Hampton University, a private institution where her mother Sylvia Jackson works, which offers tuition discounts of up to 60 percent to employees children, and the University of Virginia.
She chose the University. The reason: AccessUVA, the University’s innovative financial aid program, which aims to keep a higher education affordable for all admitted students regardless of financial means. It offers loan-free packages for low-income students, caps on need-based loans for all other students, and a commitment to meet 100 percent of need for every student. Access for every academically eligible student is a key University priority.