Hoo’ville, here we come!
Getting into UVA has never been easier– at least for students of Virginia community colleges. Today, UVA announced a new initiative that guarantees transfer admission to Virginia Community College students with a 3.4 GPA.
Though there are a few other requirements (students must have no grades lower than C and must have at least a B in introductory English), the program could revolutionize Virginia's system of higher education, says Waldo Jaquith, one-time City Council candidate and former Piedmont Virginia Community College student.
"A four-year university isn’t right for everybody," says Jaquith. "It’s great for kids to start with an associate's degree, and if they want to go on, let them go on."
Unfortunately, the initiative comes too late for Jaquith, now 27, who attempted to transfer into UVA from PVCC with an A average not once but three times. He was rejected each time, despite credentials including starting his own software company, running for public office, and winning two VH1 awards for his Dave Matthews Band fan website, nancies.org. The explanation: the home-schooled Jaquith didn't have a high school diploma from an accredited school.
In one awkward episode at a dinner for software execs, UVA president John Casteen introduced young Jaquith– who then owned a web-development firm– to the executives as one of "our best students."
But despite his rejections– and Casteen's misstatement– Jaquith, who graduated from Virginia Tech in December, says he's not bitter.
"It would have been nice if that program had been around when I had applied," he says, "but I don’t begrudge others that opportunity. If the next half-generation down from me gets to transfer into UVA from PVCC, that’s wonderful."