85.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsUVI Free Tuition Scholarship Program Available to Part-Time and Online Students

UVI Free Tuition Scholarship Program Available to Part-Time and Online Students

Part-time and online students will benefit from Free Tuition Program. (Source file photo)

During the regular quarterly meeting on Saturday, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees unanimously approved changes to the Free Tuition Scholarship program. The changes now include part-time and online students. These changes were previously approved by the board’s Executive Committee.

“We have the most enlightened free tuition policy throughout the nation,” UVI President  David Hall told the board on Saturday. The Free Tuition Scholarship Program now applies to part-time students with six or more credit hours and online students who are residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The board also updated the Free Tuition policy to make the program a “first-mile” program, which allows eligible students to receive funding from the Free Tuition Scholarship Program first before federal financial aid is applied. If students require supplemental financial aid to cover expenses such as room and board, books and other fees, that financial aid – whether federal (FAFSA), private or local awards – will be applied after the Free Tuition Scholarship funding. “Those three changes make this the most attractive free tuition program in the nation,” said Hall.

To qualify for the Free Tuition Scholarship, students must be graduates of a U.S. Virgin Islands high school they attended for three or more years; have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher; be seeking their first undergraduate degree (associate or bachelor’s); enroll as at least a part-time (six or more hours per semester) student; and be a current resident of the USVI. Students are eligible whether they graduated from a private, public or parochial high school, regardless of age, graduation date or household income, according to the press release.

At Saturday’s meeting, the board re-elected Henry Smock to serve as chairman and Oran Roebuck as vice-chair, the press release stated.

“Thank you to this board for the trust bestowed on me over the last few years. I am looking forward to serving you as well as this University and supporting our chair as best I can,” said Roebuck.

“Thank you for the vote of confidence. I will continue on in this role as best I can. I dearly love this university, as you all know. I have its best interest at heart, and I promise to work as hard as I have and will continue to move UVI forward,” said Smock.

In other business, the board unanimously approved an amendment to reduce the number of earned credits needed for graduates to receive commencement honors from at least 60 credits to at least 42 for students enrolled at UVI via a memorandum of understanding that delineates a clear path of transition and/or credit transfer. Commencement honors, such as cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude, are distinctions that are added to a diploma or degree for grade point averages of 3.25 to 4.0, the release stated.

The Board also voted unanimously to ratify the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the UVI Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (UVI AAUP), which was approved by the board’s Executive Committee, it said.

“The agreement is a wonderful reflection of the combined work of our faculty and the administration,” said Hall. The agreement provides for UVI’s faculty to receive a three percent raise for three years, for which they have already received the first raise during the current fiscal year. This is the University’s second collective bargaining agreement with the UVI AAUP.

As is customary at the end of the President’s Report, Hall presented the President’s Appreciation Award to an individual or unit within the institution that has shown outstanding achievement within the past quarter. At the meeting, Hall presented his last President’s Appreciation Awards to three units, according to the release.

The President’s Appreciation Award for this term was first presented to all students, staff, and faculty who, during this period, as they have done throughout Hall’s tenure, contributed greatly to achieving UVI’s goals and advancing this special institution of higher education, the release stated.

“In this final President’s Appreciation Award, it is essential to recognize the collective energy of those who behind the scenes make this a great University every day,” said Hall, who added that the awards will be mounted on both campuses.

The second President’s Appreciation Award was presented to the outstanding members of the President’s Office – Una Dyer, Jessica LaPlace, Jessica Taylor and Gail Steele, according to the release.

“I am just very fortunate to have four outstanding women go beyond the call of duty. For all these events that are sponsored by the President’s Office, they are the backbone. They are the ones who are there in the trenches making it happen and making it happen at a very high standard,” said Hall, who also recognized the team for successfully completing the UVINext review process. The President’s Office report to the UVINext Task Force earned the highest score for this review period, which was one of the highest scores awarded since the process began.

“The staff in the President’s Office did an outstanding job. They provided the information that the task force needed and got rave reviews,” said Hall. “I am especially proud of these four women who work exceptionally hard for this University.”

The President’s Appreciation Award was also presented to the Reichhold Center for the Arts staff, who during this period were responsible for supporting many events related to the recent Carnival Celebration, including the Carnival Queen and Prince shows. Reichold Center staff also provided the technological, sound and other integral support for key University events such as the Dean’s List Reception, the Distinguished Student Convocation, Commencement and many other events. Finally, their advocacy secured additional support from the Reichhold Foundation Board to initiate artistic events and concerts while the University awaits reconstruction of the Reichhold facility. These events include the Session on the Shore and the upcoming UB40 concert, the release stated.

“The Reichhold Center has been down for quite a number of years, and it has been the heart and soul of the performing arts in the territory, yet the individuals who are a part of the Reichhold Center staff have not wavered from their commitment trying to keep the performing arts alive in the territory,” Hall said.

“The third President’s Appreciation Award goes to Denise Humphrey, Marcus Daniel and Feja Lima for their dedication to the spirit of the Reichhold,” Hall announced.

Smock reported that while in executive session, the board approved and received reports and updates on the following:

  • Approved Executive Session Minutes
  • Approved Tenure for Faculty Members
  • Received a report regarding matters affecting the Reichhold Center for the Arts
  • Update on personnel matters
  • Update on legal matters

The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held in October.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.