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UVA president vows free tuition for those making under $80k

In this Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 photo, statue of Thomas Jefferson is surrounded by fencing and a No Trespassing sign in front of the rotunda on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The statue was the focal point of a clash between torch carrying white nationalists and students the night before the white nationalist rally in downtown Charlottesville that ended in the death of three people. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- The new president of the University of Virginia has promised free tuition for students in families earning less than $80,000 a year.

President James Ryan made the pledge Friday during his inauguration.

He said he envisions a community that "opens wide the door to opportunity" for first-generation, low- and middle-income students.

Ryan also pledged that students from Virginia families earning less than $30,000 will get both free tuition and free room and board.

Ryan did not give a precise timetable, saying "there is more work to be done ... but we might as well get started."

Ryan graduated from UVA's law school in 1992 and spent 15 years as a UVA law professor before joining Harvard in 2013.

Current tuition for in-state students at UVA is about $13,700 a year.

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