Rising high school juniors and seniors and their families are invited to participate in Virginia Private College Week by attending at least one of the open house sessions at Bluefield College. BC sessions will take place twice a day at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 27-31, and once at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 1.
Sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) — an association of independent colleges and universities working together to promote awareness of Virginia’s private higher education — Virginia Private College Week is an annual event designed to introduce prospective students to the opportunities and benefits available at a Virginia private undergraduate college.
More than 130,000 students attend a private college in Virginia and benefit from “an array of academic programs,” “outstanding faculty,” “small classes,” and “excellent preparation for a career or graduate school,” said Dr. Robert Lambeth, president of the CICV. Visiting one of those campuses during the college search process, he added, is one of the most important steps in choosing a college.
“I encourage parents to explore which college will be the best fit for their son or daughter,” said Dr. Lambeth, “and I want to reassure them that a quality education at a Virginia private college is affordable and within reach. Visiting the campuses in person is one of the most important steps in the college search process.”
During its sessions, Bluefield College, a private Christian liberal arts college located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, will host campus tours, financial aid workshops, and information sessions on the admissions process. BC also will provide a look into its academic programs and student life.
Affordability and quality will be the focus of Private College Week. In fact, Bluefield College officials will address a variety of common myths about private higher education during their sessions, including the myths that private colleges are too expensive, less accessible for the middle class, and less generous with financial aid.
“The difference between public and private college tuition is far less than many families assume, thanks to significant merit and need-based grants and the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant,” said Dr. Lambeth. “Affordable, personal and quality — these are the words I hope families will associate with a private college education. Our students are successful, because their education is customized to meet their goals both in and out of the classroom.”
Related to the affordability position, during the BC open house guests may also learn about the school’s new half-price Pathways tuition plan. Available for the first time this fall and believed to be the first of its kind offered by a four-year college, Pathways allows students who qualify for the federal Pell grant, graduate from a school district within a 45-mile radius of Bluefield College, and live at home while attending BC the opportunity to pay just $12,000 for annual tuition, compared to the standard $23,295 per year.
Prospective students who visit Bluefield College and at least two other CICV colleges during Virginia Private College Week will receive application fee waivers from each of the three institutions, exempting them from the usual application fees charged by the colleges.
Students planning to visit the BC campus are encouraged to register prior to the event by contacting the BC Admissions Office by phone at 800-872-0176 (x4272) or by emailing [email protected] For more information, visit www.privatecollegeweek.org or www.vaprivatecolleges.org, or search #VPCW on Twitter.