Delegate Tim Hugo and I have worked for years to get our state colleges and universities, specifically JMU, Virginia Tech, William and Mary and UVA, to admit more in-state students.
While our efforts to pass a bill (HB 1083) to require 75% of students accepted to be from Virginia failed to come to a vote, we have at least made progress on a few fronts.
First, as I have previously noted, our House budget includes a combined additional 1,700 slots for Virginia in-state students at these four institutions.
But most impressive is that the President of James Madison University has answered our request and announced that JMU is on track to reach the goal of 75% in-state enrollment by 2013. James Madison serves as an example to other schools in our state that it is possible for a school to raise in-state enrollment. UVA, William and Mary, and Virginia Tech have continuously told us that raising in-state enrollment cannot be done. They claim that a 75% in-state percentage is too expensive and harms “diversity.” But James Madison University has proven them wrong.
I hope the rest of our state’s universities can follow in the footsteps of James Madison University, and grant our Virginia students the access they deserve.