One of the brightest spots in the Charlottesville area economy is the University of Virginia. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they provide stability and opportunity.
Noticeable at the Planning and Coordination Council meeting was the contrast between the scale and ambition of a university angling to become “the premier undergraduate experience of the Americas” and those of the county government, which has had to cut back construction plans due to ongoing revenue shortfalls.
The university is primarily pursuing infill development within the current grounds, but is still aggressively expanding capacity. This is largely due to an agreement with the state government to increase undergraduate enrollment by 1,400 students by 2018, which is in addition to an increase of 271 outstanding from a previous plan.
While the University grows, the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle continue to struggle with their budgets.
We had an interesting discussion here in 2007 about UVA’s growth plans’ impact on Charlottesville real estate – in which we discussed the UVA Master Plan map, their growth plans then, the anticipated hiring of new faculty … and reading that from 2007 has spurred me to research a related story.But …
The other big difference with student loans is the dominant role the federal government has assumed in the market in the last few years: it accounts for roughly 85 percent of student debt.