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Letter to Newsweek Editors

Newsweek, February 16, 2004, p. 38

"Correction: In my last column I wrote that the business and law schools at the University of Virginia had gone private. Not so. The schools are financially self-sufficient but operate as public institutions."

Jane Bryant Quinn

January 29, 2004

To the Editor of Newsweek:

I am writing to correct misinformation in Jane Bryant Quinn's Feb. 2 column headlined College's New Tuition Crisis. Ms. Quinn incorrectly states that the University of Virginia's Law School and its Darden Graduate School of Business Administration have become private entities.

While it is true that both schools, faced with declining state support for higher education, have over the past decade moved toward financial self-sufficiency, they remain fully under University of Virginia governance.

In a new funding model for public education, the two schools have increased tuition, bringing them to similar levels with their peers. At the same time, they have placed a strong emphasis on raising funds for scholarships and loans to help students overcome any financial difficulty increased tuition may bring.

Contrary to Ms. Quinn's column, neither Law nor Darden sets its own tuition. Tuition policy remains under the authority of the university's board of visitors. Moreover, each school continues to receive $2,500 of taxpayer funds for each in-state student enrolled.

With regards to tuition policy, Ms. Quinn's column raises some important issues for institutions of higher education. At U.Va., we realize the importance of maintaining educational access for all students. As of the 2004-05 academic year, we will complete implementation of a four-year plan to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all undergraduate students through grants, loans, and work-study, a policy that affirms U.Va.'s commitment to access in the midst of falling state appropriations and rising tuition.

As envisioned by our founder, the University of Virginia has been, and always will be, a public institution of higher education.

With best regards,

Carol Wood
Interim Assistant Vice President for University Relations
Charlottesville, VA

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