ROANOKE (WSLS10) - Hollins University students have more options when it comes to paying for college thanks to university President Nancy Grey. During her time in office, Grey increased the school's endowment. That allowed the university to offer more student aide.
As the price of higher education continues to rise, sophomore Emma Sala, a theater major, is grateful for her two scholarships.
A bachelor's degree at Hollins University roughly costs $36,000 a year. Sala's scholarship pays for over half of her tuition.
"I couldn't come here if I didn't have my scholarships," Sala says. "I could not afford it. So, the fact that I can come here at all is because of President Grey."
This opportunity is possible because President Grey has made it her mission to increase the university's endowment over the last decade. It's grown from $72-million to $171-million.
"Primarily, we talked to individuals who graduated from Hollins," said Grey. "Our alumni loved their alma mater. They believe their lives were changed, that they've gone places because of their education."
Because of that loyalty, many of their alumni helped the university pay off much of its debt.
"We were at a place where we were actually spending the endowment to survive and that's dangerous," commented Ernie Zulia, a professor and chairman of the Theater Department.