Many of the out-of-state students who are accepted to the University of Virginia each year are faced with a difficult decision. Despite dreams of attending UVA, they may come up against the reality that their parents can only afford an in-state alternative. For many working parents, the costs associated with higher education can be a determining factor in deciding where their college-age children spend their undergraduate years.
A $2.5 million gift from Terry Daniels (Col ’66) to create the UVA Within Reach Blue Ridge Scholarship will support out-of-state students from middle-income families by helping to alleviate the cost of attending the University. Thanks to funds earmarked for the Blue Ridge Scholars Program by President Jim Ryan in December 2020, the scholarship will be matched at 100%, for a total investment of $5 million.
“I’m thrilled that Terry Daniels is investing in UVA by opening the doors of educational opportunity to more families,” Ryan said. “His generous gift will attract and enroll outstanding students who may not otherwise have considered UVA, and we will be a stronger community as a result. I’m grateful to Terry and excited to welcome our new UVA Within Reach Blue Ridge Scholars to Grounds.”
Terry is investing in UVA by opening the doors of educational opportunity to more families. His generous gift will attract and enroll outstanding students who may not otherwise have considered UVA.
Daniels was a resident of California when he decided to enroll at UVA. He is a proponent of the value that out-of-state students can bring to the University’s academic and cultural environment.
“The strength of the University in large part comes from the benefits students receive from being surrounded by people of different socioeconomic, racial, and international backgrounds,” he said. “You’re exposed to people from different cultural backgrounds, with different ways of thinking, and that can only benefit all students.”
Daniels noted that when out-of-state students attend UVA and are exposed to the University’s distinctive culture and traditions – such as the Honor System – they take their student experiences with them as they enter society, become productive citizens, and return as loyal alumni: “That then has a positive impact on the University and state of Virginia from a financial standpoint,” he said.
The scholarship will make a difference in the lives of its recipients, said Stephen Farmer, vice provost of enrollment.
“They’ll bring their experiences and their families’ experiences with them to UVA,” Farmer said. “But I think it’s just as important to focus on the difference that the scholarships will make in the lives of everyone who knows the scholars.”
Stephen Farmer, vice provost of enrollment
Farmer, who oversees supportive strategies that provide an enhanced and cohesive enrollment experience for students during their time at UVA, believes it’s crucial to open doors to talented young people from all walks of life—including those from middle-income families.
“They’re the sons and daughters of teachers, first responders, public servants, small businesspeople, and preachers,” he said. “People who hold communities together. Terry’s gift will allow us to continue to recruit students whose parents have worked hard, who’ve sacrificed, and who still need some scholarship funding from the University for their children to come here and achieve. That’s what we need, and that’s what the scholarship is going to let us do.”
This spring, hundreds of middle-income students from outside Virginia are enrolled on Grounds. Although the University’s financial aid program can meet the full demonstrated need of these students, their families are still making significant financial sacrifices, and the students themselves are working and borrowing to contribute to the cost of their education. The new scholarship will reduce both work and loan obligations, enabling middle-income students to spend more time on their studies and pursue the best path for themselves after graduation.
This ripple effect will contribute to the health of the University at a time when the affordability of higher education is a pressing national issue.
“With Terry’s gift and with his scholars, we’ll have a richer, more vibrant community,” Farmer said. “Every student here deserves to live and learn alongside other classmates who will see the best in them and want the best for them and share generously from their own wisdom. By bringing talented out-of-state, middle-income students to UVA, Terry has given a gift to every student at the University, not just to these future scholars.”
Daniels has served in leadership roles as a member of the Bicentennial Commission, the Miller Center Governing Council, the College Foundation, Darden Foundation, Jefferson Trust, Alumni Association, and Health Services Foundation. He has been a generous benefactor to several areas of the University, including the College of Arts & Sciences, the Darden School of Business, the Miller Center, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, and Athletics. In 2020, he made a gift to the Bridge Scholarship effort to support students whose families were impacted financially by COVID-19, helping to close the affordability gap during a time of unique needs.