RICHMOND, Va. — Fifty Richmond Public School (RPS) students were surprised with full-ride scholarships to Virginia Union University (VUU) on Tuesday.
The scholarships were awarded as part of VUU’s “VUU is RVA” partnership with the City of Richmond and RPS.
CBS 6 was present when RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras broke the news to eight ninth-graders at Huguenot High School.
"You have a free ride for your entire education at VUU,” Kamras said.
“I’m really excited. I just want to call my mom and tell her about this,” said ninth-grader April Leveron after the presentation.
The scholarship is worth about $108,000, as Maurice Campbell, VUU’s Senior VP of Corporate and External Affairs, said the annual tuition costs for students is about $27,000.
Kamras said the high costs of post-secondary education can be a big obstacle for some families to overcome.
“It’s one of the reasons some kids actually don’t follow through and end up going. And so, knowing as a ninth-grader that you have your college paid for is absolutely thrilling. I know it’s going to lift a burden off of our families and create even more of an incentive for our kids to graduate, do well, and be successful,” added Kamras.
The students will still need to meet the minimum requirements to attend VUU and in order to ensure they meet the standards, each student will be assigned a mentor from the university to help them throughout high school.
"It’s making sure these students matriculate and have the support they need, whether it’s emotional, mental, or just hitting the books and to really engage with the experience and the family of VUU,” added Campbell.