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Virginia Tech Advantage

Tour group of students walking in front of the Pylons.

Following the identification of access and affordability as leading strategic priorities for the university by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and the Board of Visitors in 2022, President Sands launched the Virginia Tech Advantage for Virginia students, which seeks to provide a Virginia Tech experience financially within reach for everyone, regardless of income.  President Sands named Menah Pratt, Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Diversity, and Matt Holt, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, to lead the Virginia Tech Advantage initiative.

In December 2022, Pratt and Holt established the Virginia Tech Advantage Steering Committee, which will provide recommendations to the Executive Leadership Team on strategies to make Virginia Tech more affordable and accessible for underserved students, addressing financial feasibility and student success.

In addition, the Financial Feasibility and Student Experience Working Groups were formed with their own respective charges:

  • Financial Feasibility Working Group
    Charge - Determine financial strategies to support affordability and student experience goals for underserved students.

    Key Questions - What would it take to close the gap (for State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia peers) for tuition and average net price difference for Pell-eligible and Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP) students?
    How do we enhance affordability for students who are not Pell-eligible/VGAP?

  • Student Experience Working Group
    Charge - Determine how to enhance aspects of the student experience (e.g., time to graduation, student retention, graduation rates, transformational experiences, etc.) to improve access and success.

    Key Question - What strategies would help advance our commitment to support student success at Virginia Tech, including those who are most vulnerable based on a variety of identities?


Menah Pratt
– Strategic Affairs and Diversity
Matt Holt – Agricultural and Applied Economics, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Jeff Earley
– Academic Resource Management
Kristin Gehsmann – School of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Ellington Graves – Inclusion and Diversity
Greta Harris –  Board of Visitors
Luisa Havens Gerardo – Enrollment Management
Tim Hodge – Budget and Financial Planning
Rachel Holloway – Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Elizabeth Hooper – Government and Community Relations
Frances Keene – Student Affairs
Erin McCann – Strategic Planning, Strategic Affairs
Charlie Phlegar – Advancement
Julie Ross – Engineering
Amy Sebring – Financial and Operational Enterprises
Tracy Vosburgh – Communications and Marketing

Jeff Earley
 – Academic Resource Management
Luisa Havens Gerardo – Enrollment Management
Tim Hodge – Budget and Financial Planning

Beth Armstrong
 – University Scholarships and Financial Aid, Enrollment Management
Sergio Barrera – Economics, College of Science
Dan Cleveland – Advancement
Elizabeth Hooper – Government and Community Relations
Robert Hopkins II – Strategic Analysis, Academic Resource Management
Sharon Kurek – Audit, Risk, and Compliance
Kevin Sutton – Financial Wellness, Hokie Wellness
Jesse Tuel – Communications and Marketing

Rachel Holloway - Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Frances Keene - Student Affairs
Ellington Graves - Inclusion and Diversity

Catherine Amelink
 – Office of the Executive Vice Provost
Takiyah Amin – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Architecture, Arts, and Design
Nathaniel L. Bishop – Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Vitality, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
James Bridgeforth – Student Affairs and ExperienceVT
Tamara Cherry-Clarke – First Generation Student Success, Student Affairs
Melissa Faircloth – American Indian and Indigenous Community Center
Kim Filer – Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Martha Glass – Interim Dean of Students and Student Affairs
Dave Guerin – Provost Communications
Dannette Gomez Beane – Strategic Initiatives, Enrollment Management
Laura Hungerford – Population Health Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Estrella Johnson – Inclusion and Diversity, College of Science
Maryam Kamran – Inclusion and Diversity, College of Natural Resources and Environment
DeAnna Katey – Undergraduate Student Programs, College of Engineering
Monica Kimbrell – Undergraduate Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
O’Brian Martin – Equity and Inclusion, Undergraduate Student Senate
Emily McCorkle – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Pamplin College of Business
Eric Paterson – National Security Institute
Nicole Pitterson – Representative from the Faculty Senate
Kevin Pitts – College of Science
Donna Cassell Ratcliffe – Career and Professional Development
Jamal Ross – Board of Visitors Undergraduate Representative
Karen Eley Sanders – College Access Collaborative, Enrollment Management
Kimberly Smith – Student Success Initiatives, Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Chevon Thorpe – Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences