RICHMOND, Va. -- Fifty Richmond ninth graders will be receiving scholarships Virginia Union University (VUU).
The students received their scholarship letters Saturday following the new partnership between Richmond Public Schools and VUU.
University officials said each scholarship, which is part of the VUU is RVA initiative, is worth about $108,000 as the annual tuition costs for students is about $27,000.
"It's a little bit like winning the lottery," RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras said. "So it's a huge weight lifted off of our families' shoulders."
As long as the teens qualify for Virginia Union once they graduate high school, their families will not have to pay tuition.
Shelia Dudley, whose daughter Asia received a scholarship, called the initiative "awesome."
"This is huge," Dudley said. "Asia will be able to attend college for free. She won't have to worry about debt and she can focus on her classes."
Additionally, students receive a mentor and access to VUU facilities throughout their high school careers.