Thursday, September 19, 2019

Free Tuition – Making Goals Achievable

Students engaging in group study in the Ralph Paiewonsky Library, St. Thomas Campus

The Fall 2019 semester has seen the University of the Virgin Islands welcome hundreds of new, transfer and returning students, who have decided to make UVI their school of choice, having one less thing to worry about – overwhelming tuition fees 

Convocation 2019, Albert A. Sheen Campus

The University of the Virgin Islands has now become the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that provides comprehensive free tuition to students within its state or jurisdiction. 

“When the history books are written about this territory there will be those who will record that at the dawn of 2019 the Government of the Virgin Islands, and thus the people of the Virgin Islands, glimpsed their future in the mirror of their own reality, and decided to shape it for themselves, so that it would be a brighter future, and a more perfect reflection of their potential and dreams,” said UVI President David Hall. 

UVI President David Hall

The marked increase in enrollment over last year is shown by the figures for registration as compared with the same time last year. This hike in enrollment is credited in large part to the Free Tuition Program. Some students recorded their profound gratitude to the framers of the bill that has made them eligible for free tuition. 

The fact that I am able to receive the Free Tuition makes it possible for me to pursue my dream of becoming a registered nurse,” says Deja Primus, a freshman. “If I didn’t receive this free tuition, I would not be able to afford the costs to come to school. This is not just a blessing for me, but a blessing for my family as well.” 

On Aug. 19, all students including returning studentflocked to the campus, anxious and eager for the start of a new semester. A few of these students indicated that because of the free tuition program, they can now focus solely on their academics and not have to worry if they will be able to continue to pursue their academic goals. 

Students traversing the Albert A. Sheen Campus

“I am definitely happy to receive this assistance, not only does it remove the financial burden from my parents, I too am assured that my only responsibility is to stay focus on my academics,” said Faith Prosper, a returning sophomore. 

“It’s a relief getting an opportunity to come to university and not have to be burdened and worried by the thoughts of how I will cover the associated costs,” said Christopher Murphy, a returning junior. 
“I have three younger siblings who are in high school and without this free tuition policy, it would have been really hard for our mother to afford to send all of us to this University,” said a freshman, who chose to remain anonymous. “This is definitely one of the best things that the government has done for education in the territory. There are many students who did not imagine going to University before, but this policy makes it possible for all.” 

Introduced by Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, who was a senator at the time, and signed by former Governor Kenneth Mapp, this program has been a door opener for individuals who are not capable of pursuing a higher education due to financial constraints. 

In preparation for the Spring 2020 semester, beginning Jan. 13, 2020interested persons are urged to apply for the Free Tuition by Oct. 15, 2019. 

For more information about the application process, contact Access and Enrollment Services at 1-877-468-6884 or visit