A group of Marymount students recently joined peers from 31 other private colleges and universities across Virginia to meet with legislators in Richmond to advocate for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program
or VTAG. The program which is state-funded, provides Virginia residents attending private not-for-profit colleges in the Commonwealth with a $3,100 grant annually at the undergraduate level, and a $1,550 grant at the graduate level for individuals pursuing careers in the health professions. (No other graduate students are eligible for the grant.)
The students met with a number of legislators, including State Senator Barbara Favola (31st District), about proposed increases to the grant program. Freshman Stephanie Agbey, a business administration major from Alexandria, Virginia, noted that she learned that she could have her voice heard and was impressed by the dedication and interest demonstrated by the senators and delegates with whom they met.
Governor McDonnell's introduced budget provided $3.1 million more in funding for the VTAG program. This increase, if it is accepted by the budget conferees, would enhance the possible amount given to each undergraduate student to $3,300, and reduce the graduate award slightly to $1,500. Freshman Nicholas Montedoro, a politics major from Mechanicsville, VA, explained, “The increase would be great because the grants help take the financial aspect out of the decision-making process.”
Senator Favola stated, "The Marymount students made an impressive case for how they personally benefited from the VTAG program. It’s so important to invest in higher education and to fund programs that help students attend the colleges of their choice.” She added, “It was inspiring to spend time with these enthusiastic young people who aspire to be teachers, nurses, and business leaders.”
: (left to right) Elliot Uhl, MU assistant director of International Services; Nicholas Montedoro ʼ17, Stephanie Agbey ʼ17, Senator Barbara Favola, Iqra Hamayoun ʼ17, Jyotshna Herbert ʼ17, Timothy Plotner ʼ16, and Heather Corley, MU Admissions counselor.