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UVI Approves Free Tuition For Students Getting Higher Education In Virgin Islands

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Board of Trustees approved policies that will help implement Act No. 8155, the Virgin Islands Higher Education Scholarship Program, in a special session on Wednesday.

What was approved requires that financial aid be granted to residents of the Virgin Islands for post-secondary education at UVI.  The Board voted unanimously to approve the policies and procedures, with several amendments. 

“This is a very historic accomplishment for the University and the Territory,” said UVI president David Hall. “The Board should be proud for putting this issue on the Territory’s agenda and for the overwhelming support that we received from the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.”  

Act No. 8155 or the Virgin Islands Higher Education Scholarship Program (VIHESP) was signed into law by former Governor Kenneth Mapp and introduced by Lt. Governor Tregenza Roach, who was a senator at the time.  

The scholarships will be available to all Virgin Islanders who graduate from a private, public or parochial high school regardless of age, date of graduation or household income. 

Recipients of the tuition aid, which would supplement students’ federal scholarship awards, university scholarships, and private donations, will be required to maintain a GPA of 2.50 and to work in the Territory for a specific length of time after completing their studies. The University will collaborate with the Department of Labor to secure job placement for scholarship recipients. 

 The VIHESP policies and procedures will be published on the University’s website,, by Friday, Feb. 1. 

In other business, whilein executive session, the Board approved the June 2, Aug. 31, and Sept. 18, executive session minutes. The Board also approved the nomination of Bradley Ebersole to the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands, addressed a personnel matter and received an update on legal matters. 

The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019.  

A complete list of Board meetings is available on the Board of Trustees page of the UVI website and from this direct link

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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