State universities in Virginia will now have the opportunity to get millions in return for giving extra focus to subjects the state has deemed to be important. According to an Associated Press article by Zinie Chen Sampson in Bloomberg News:

Virginia’s public colleges and universities will be eligible to apply for $50 million to enhance enrollment and retention, increase the number of students pursuing science and health care fields, and boost undergraduate financial aid.

Dan Hix, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s finance policy director, said Tuesday that institutions must apply for the funding by submitting proposals to Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson. The grants would go to institutions that propose efforts that line up with the goals of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Commission on Higher Education Reform.

Hix explained that $33 million of the money would go toward helping colleges increase their focus on “science, technology, engineering and math, as well as health care.”

It seems like we haven’t seen this in awhile, the announcement that state universities can actually get more money in order to enact improvements. Money from the state itself. How novel. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer