Friday, August 22, 2014

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University of Virginia Board Approves Tuition Rates for 2014-15

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors on Wednesday approved undergraduate tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year.

The board’s vote bolsters ongoing efforts to improve faculty and staff compensation, fuels initiatives of the University’s strategic plan and covers state-mandated increases in U.Va.’s contribution to the Virginia Retirement System.

“Our efforts focus on strategic initiatives that further strengthen one of the country’s best public research institutions,” Rector George Keith Martin said.

Tuition and all mandatory fees for first-year undergraduate Virginia residents entering in August will increase by 4.3 percent, while the rate for out-of-state students is increasing by 5.9 percent.

The total cost of attendance for a first-year Virginia resident – which includes tuition and fees, room and board, and estimated expenses for books and travel expenditures – will increase by $949 to $27,417.

The University projects that about a third of undergraduate first-year students will have financial need, and U.Va. will maintain its longstanding commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need and to operate admission on a need-blind basis. Among public universities across the nation, this distinction is shared only by U.Va. and one other institution.

“The University of Virginia remains a tremendous value for students from all walks of life,” Martin said. “The tuition plan approved today helps sustain and enhance success by supporting investments in priorities such as our superb faculty and an even more distinctive residential culture.”

U.Va. is widely recognized as one of the top public universities and one of the best values in all of higher education. Kiplinger magazine ranks the University No. 2 among “Best Values in Public Colleges,” while Princeton Review ranks U.Va. the third-best value among public universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks U.Va. the No. 2 public university overall.

Revenue from the new rates is earmarked for faculty and staff compensation, and funding priorities of the Cornerstone Plan, the University’s new five-year strategic plan, which identifies five “pillars” for sustaining and enhancing excellence. It also will also be used to cover the increase in the employer’s mandatory contribution to the Virginia Retirement System.

“As part of the state’s efforts to fully fund the retirement system, all agencies are facing higher-than-usual contributions to the VRS,” Martin said. “The University’s tuition plan reflects this, and otherwise would be comparable to rate increases in the previous two years.”

The board approved a resolution in February 2013 to elevate the average faculty salary into the top 20 of U.Va.’s Association of American University peers. Like many others in higher education, U.Va. faces a generational transformation of faculty, expecting to replace half of its members in the next seven to 10 years.

“We must support a faculty that will position the University for sustained excellence as we approach our bicentennial and prepare for U.Va.’s third century,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “This will mean retaining and recruiting young talent as well as experienced scholars in a broad array of disciplines.”

Among the Cornerstone Plan’s other initiatives are a comprehensive “Total Advising” approach that combines high-quality academic advising, career advising and coaching, and fosters relationships between current students and U.Va. alumni. Improvements also are planned in institution-wide infrastructure and services that support the ability to conduct research, scholarship, creative arts and innovation.

The Board of Visitors on Wednesday also approved 2014-15 rates for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Tuition and fees for in-state first-year students at U.Va.-Wise will increase by 4.2 percent, while out-of-state rates will increase by 4 percent.

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