- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia will guarantee admission to students attending the state’s community colleges, provided they meet a strict set of academic requirements.

The program takes effect immediately and would allow the students admission to the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest school at Virginia’s flagship university.

Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond also announced a guaranteed admission program yesterday.

The UVa. program is aimed at attracting students who may have thought they wouldn’t qualify for admission or couldn’t afford tuition, UVa. President John Casteen III said yesterday.

“Two years at community college, enjoying the financial advantage of lower tuition, followed by guaranteed admission into the University of Virginia is an unbeatable combination,” Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois said.

To qualify, community college students must complete an associate’s degree within two years before their application to UVa. and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4.

Community college students who don’t meet the requirements can still apply, but they’re not guaranteed admission.

To qualify for admission to VCU, the students must have graduated with an associate’s degree and taken classes that are transferrable while maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average.

The universities join a handful of other Virginia schools adopting guaranteed admission agreements this year, including Longwood University, Sweet Briar College and the schools of agriculture and life science and engineering at Virginia Tech.

The state’s higher education restructuring act, passed in 2005 to grant more autonomy to Virginia colleges, requires that four-year schools provide more opportunities for community college graduates who want to transfer.

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