To the Parents of Incoming Students

August 24th, 2009

Last weekend I greeted many of you who were fortunate enough to accompany your children to Charlottesville and help them move in as they start a new and important phase of their life. For those parents I was not able to meet, let me offer my greetings in print, as Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, but also as another parent. The older of my two children is starting his third year in a university in Chicago; so two years ago, I was in the same situation you are in, sending off a child to be on his own.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Price of Inspiration

August 4th, 2009

Last week I received a letter from an anguished parent, distressed about the study-abroad fees levied on U.Va. students attending non-U.Va. programs. (There are fewer fees for students participating U.Va.-sponsored programs abroad.) To study in Freiburg, Germany this spring, his daughter had to pay two administrative fees that added up to $550 plus an application fee of $90; to study art in Italy this summer, she was asked to pay yet another $400 in administrative fees, plus another application fee of $90. The total came to $1,130—not a trivial sum, especially coming on the heels of other hidden costs associated with transplanting a child to Europe.

Read the rest of this entry »