Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges has a history of commitment to students who are traditionally underrepresented on most college campuses. Our commitment is evident by the concerted effort we make not only to help our schools attract and recruit these students but the way in which we facilitate their access.

Our Core Values
  • Ethical Action: Honesty and Integrity
  • Civility and Respect
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Service to Others
  • Community
  • Commitment to Excellence
  • Innovation and Boldness


Our Students 

The VFIC’s seventeen member schools currently educate more than 30,000 students. Of those, 23,000 are undergraduates. The following information offers a profile of students who attend the sixteen schools in our consortium. The most recent data reported by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) comes from the 2018-2019 academic year.


Students of Color Enrolled at VFIC Schools (2018-2019)

  • 28% of students at VFIC schools are students of color
  • 22% of 2018-2019 VFIC school graduates were students of color
  • 11% of students in 2018-2019 were black, an increase of 38% from 2009-2010
  • 8% of students in 2018-2019 were Hispanic, an increase of 118% from 2009-2010


⇒ For comparison, at all Virginia private colleges combined, 17% of students are black. At Virginia’s 4-year public colleges, 15% are black. Over the past 10 years, Virginia private colleges have seen a 44% increase in enrolled students of color while Virginia’s public colleges have seen a 29% increase. (Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia – CICV).


Financial Need of Students

“Students with need” includes degree-seeking undergraduate students who completed the FAFSA and were eligible for federal and/or state need-based aid.

  • 43% of students were considered “Students with Need” in 2018-2019


Students from Underrepresented Groups

Underrepresented groups include minorities, members of the Hispanic population, New Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and first-generation students.

  • 43% in 2009-2010
  • 48% in 2018-2019
Students with Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

  • 24% in 2009-2010
  • 29% in 2018-2019
STEM-H Graduates – All Students

STEM-H graduates are students who major in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health.

  • 19% of graduates in 2009-2010
  • 29% of graduates in 2018-2019

⇒ For comparison, at all Virginia private colleges combined, 69% of students come from underrepresented groups and 48% of students receive the federal Pell grant for low-income students. At Virginia 4-year public institutions, 55% come from underrepresented groups and 27% receive the Pell grant. (CICV)

⇒ While this statistic on STEM-H graduates reflects a trend among the larger student body, the emphasis on STEM-H education at VFIC schools indicates that they are intensifying efforts to attract people into various fields of science and prepare them for highly marketable careers.

Our partners
Our Programs

Excelencia Program >

Provides Hispanic students from around the Commonwealth with introductory campus tours at our member colleges. The VFIC has provided campus tours to 559 Latino students from sixteen different high schools located throughout the Commonwealth to help increase college enrollment and success.

Partnership for the Future >

Helps break the cycle of poverty for young people by arranging college visits and workplace internships that enable students to transition successfully from high school to college and then to the workplace. VFIC schools participate in an annual college fair specifically for these students.

Real World Playbook >

Uses comprehensive, online modules to help college students answer FAQs about subjects such as personal finance, health care, housing, taxes, and retirement planning.

Career Preparation for Underrepresented Students >

Enhances the work of career development officers at VFIC schools by providing them with the special resources they need to help underrepresented students secure a fulfilling, lucrative job upon graduation.

Starting Now: VFIC Women’s Leadership Development Summit >

Offers young women from VFIC schools the opportunity to hear from corporate and civic leaders about how to assume roles of authority in professional and personal settings.

Our Financial Support

Brighter Futures Scholarship Program >

Enables VFIC students with financial need to pursue their dreams of securing a college degree.

New Horizons Scholarship Program >

Ensures that the educational opportunities available at VFIC colleges and universities are accessible and affordable for those who wish to enroll.

Our Recognition

National Council for Community and Education Partnerships/GEAR UP Leadership Award