Virginia governor pledges to increase higher education spending

Despite reports of education budget cuts in states like California, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has pledged to increase higher education spending to $100 million per year for the next two years, reports The Washington Post.

The money will be allocated to colleges based on a variety of conditions. Graduation rates, admissions factors and student learning outcomes will all contribute to how much federal funding universities receive under the new plans. In addition to making college more accessible to students, ensuring a competitive edge for the state is also a key objective of the funding increases.

"This is about [students'] future as individuals, and our future as a Commonwealth. In this competitive global economy, the more Virginia students who attend our colleges and universities and emerge with the skills and training necessary to compete for the best jobs in the 21st century, the stronger our state will be in the years ahead," said McDonnell, as quoted by WTVR News.

Of the total yearly funding allowance, more than $6 million per year will be used to increase financial aid to students, in addition to $5.8 million that will expand the Tuition Access Grant financial aid program.

When you're filling out college applications, applying for financial aid can really help reduce the costs of earning your degree. Don't forget to look into scholarships, too.

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