The University of Virginia will be an integral part of the commonwealth’s new Growth4VA campaign. Announced in September, the statewide initiative is the result of a partnership between Virginia’s higher education institutions and business leaders.
Growth4VA is designed to expand Virginia’s economy and regain the commonwealth’s No. 1 business ranking through four primary strategies:
- Make Virginia the top state for talent.
- Become recognized as the home of innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Prepare Virginians for great jobs and great lives.
- Provide affordable access to higher education for all Virginians.
UVA has long been a leader in these areas and is already a major driver of Virginia’s economy. A recent economic impact study revealed that the University contributed $5.9 billion to Virginia’s economy in 2015 and that one in every 76 jobs in the commonwealth is either held directly by a UVA employee or is supported as a result of UVA’s presence.
“We are only as good as the faculty, staff and students that come here each year to teach, work and learn,” said Thomas C. Katsouleas, UVA’s executive vice president and provost. “Over the past few years, we have introduced innovative recruitment and hiring strategies to help us get and grow world-class faculty. It is their ingenuity and commitment to solving global problems that makes us an educational leader in the commonwealth and beyond.”
Alongside faculty recruitment, UVA attracts and retains talented students by making a world-class education affordable for promising scholars from all financial backgrounds. The University is consistently ranked among the best bargains in higher education. Among all higher education institutions in Virginia, it has the lowest estimated cost for in-state students receiving financial aid.
“As we celebrate UVA’s bicentennial this year, we are committed to making student access and affordability hallmarks of the University’s third century,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “An excellent UVA education will continue to be available to all talented students, regardless of their families’ financial means.”
UVA has a need-blind admissions process and is committed to meeting 100 percent of every student’s demonstrated financial need. Through an individualized process, Student Financial Services ensures that every student has the right combination of aid to get the financial support they need and graduate with a limited amount of debt.
Once students arrive on Grounds, they are swept into a powerful culture of research and innovation. Programs like UVA’s USOAR – Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research – pair students with faculty mentors and give them paid, hands-on experience in important research projects happening across the University. This places many undergraduates on research teams that are changing the world and shows them the tangible impacts of a University research complex that has a $644.5 million annual impact in Virginia.
UVA also maintains a robust entrepreneurial network that helps University faculty, students and staff bring their discoveries to the open market and share the benefits with the wider world.
Programs like UVA’s iLab incubator nurture on-Grounds start-ups on the path to a successful launch, while the UVA Licensing & Venture Group works with faculty and students to help patent and commercialize their innovative discoveries.
This supportive business environment contributed to the National Venture Capital Association’s recent ranking of Charlottesville as the fastest-growing venture-capital ecosystem in the U.S.
UVA’s continued success in the areas of affordability, innovation and entrepreneurship are major factors that help drive Virginia’s economy and recruit new talent to the state. The partnership with Growth4VA is designed to expand that impact even further and open new opportunities for collaboration with leaders across the commonwealth.
“We look forward to partnering with higher education institutions and business leaders to accelerate Virginia’s economic growth and to make our commonwealth known as a national leader in entrepreneurship and innovation,” Sullivan said.