Twenty-four Virginia independent colleges will welcome prospective students and their parents to their campuses July 29 – Aug. 3 during the annual Virginia Private College Week sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV).

University of Richmond is among the colleges that will hold twice-daily information sessions during the week. Admission representatives will discuss financial aid and scholarship options that allow private colleges to be affordable for families of all income levels.

Students who visit at least three institutions during the week will receive three application fee waivers that can be used to apply to any three participating CICV colleges for free.

During Virginia Private College Week, each college will host two daily programs for rising high school juniors and seniors, their families, and prospective transfer students, unless otherwise noted on CICV’s website, www.vaprivatecolleges.org. The programs will include a campus tour and information session about admission, financial aid, academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Richmond’s programs will be held Monday–Thursday at 9:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., followed by a student-guided campus tour. Richmond will offer the morning session only on Aug. 2 and no sessions on Aug. 3. Brochures and maps of campus are always available at a kiosk outside the admission office. Online registration is recommended at admissions.richmond.edu or by calling 800-700-1662.

“Virginia Private College Week is an opportunity to learn more about the quality and affordability of independent colleges,” said Nathan A. Crozier, Richmond’s director of admission. “For instance, Richmond is one of only a few colleges and universities in the nation to offer need-blind admission and a commitment to meet 100 percent of an undergraduate student’s demonstrated financial need.”

Last year, Richmond awarded $72 million in financial aid — $65.5 million of which came from Richmond’s own resources — to a student body of 3,000 undergraduates. Beginning in fall 2014, Richmond is raising the family income amount —to $60,000 — at which incoming first-year students from Virginia can qualify for free tuition, room and board, without loans. Previously, the income limit was $40,000. The university also is providing more than $1 million a year to fund the UR Summer Fellowships program, giving students opportunities to do summer internships or research.

CICV’s website, www.vaprivatecolleges.org provides information about the quality and affordability of Virginia private colleges. It addresses many of the myths concerning private higher education and its costs. The user-friendly website also helps students identify which Virginia private colleges might be good matches for them.

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