Board Approves 2010-11 Tuition; Reflects Economic Realities, Including Ongoing State Budget Cuts

April 30, 2010 — The University of Virginia's Board of Visitors today approved tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 academic year for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for law, medical and graduate business students and the College at Wise.

Tuition and required fees for in-state U.Va. undergraduates will increase by $956, bringing the annual total to $10,628. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition and required fees will increase by $1,902 to $33,574.

The University worked to limit increases in room and board – and to keep the rates among the very lowest when compared to 26 national peer institutions, including Cornell and Vanderbilt universities and Johns Hopkins. The prices of undergraduate meal plans will increase by an average of 3.5 percent, or between $40 and $140 per semester, depending on the plan. Housing rates will see a double room increase by an average of 4.9 percent, or $222 per academic year.

While the board has long emphasized the importance of keeping the University affordable and values its long-standing "best value" rankings, the increases reflect economic realities.

Since 2000-01, state funding per in-state student has fallen from $12,011 to $8,601 in the current academic year. It is projected to decline to $8,470 in 2010-11. In 2010-11, an in-state student's contribution toward the cost of his/her education will be larger than the state's.

In comparison, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received $26,034 per in-state student in 2009-10, and the University of Michigan received $15,595.

"The University's appropriation from the state general fund has been cut four times since 2007-08, by a total of $36.8 million," said Leonard W. Sandridge, U.Va. executive vice president and chief operating officer. "This includes an unexpected mid-year reduction of $4.7 million in the current year."

Sandridge pointed out that federal funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 were designated to help mitigate tuition increases for in-state undergraduates for two consecutive years. With the aid of those funds, the University was able to hold the in-state increase for the current academic year to 5 percent.

"This year, there were a number of unexpected occurrences that negated the positive impact we expected to see from the ARRA state fiscal stabilization funds," Sandridge said, listing three substantive financial changes:

•    The $4.7 million mid-year state general fund budget cut.
•    A $5.1 million reduction in expected ARRA funding from the state for tuition mitigation.
•    A $1.5 million payment to the state to buy out the one-day furlough for University employees.

These totaled $11.2 million in unplanned reductions in the University's 2009-10 budget.

Sound financial management also calls for the University to look beyond 2010-11 to the following fiscal year, Sandridge said. At that time, two things are scheduled to happen: ARRA stimulus funding will end and the University will receive another reduction in its state appropriation, this time of $14.7 million. At that point the University's state appropriation will be 28 percent less than it was in 2007-08, when the economic downturn began.

The University relies on tuition to support academic programs and salaries for staff and faculty. For the coming year, tuition increases have been earmarked for five institutional priorities intended to protect core services that have suffered as a result of continuous budget cuts.

The priorities include $3 million for additional financial aid; $2.5 million for academic programs, including those in the College of Arts & Sciences and the schools of Engineering and Architecture; $2.5 million for new and deferred building maintenance; and $2.3 million for the increased cost of employee benefits.

In addition, the state has asked all state institutions to set aside funds – $7.6 million for the University – for a potential 3 percent bonus for employees, of which the state would contribute 35 percent of the total. Next fiscal year will mark the third straight year University employees have gone without salary increases.

Because of the economic crisis, the University continues to see an increase in the percentage of students who qualify for financial aid – and an increase in the cost to the University. This trend is expected to continue, Sandridge said, as low- and middle-income families face ongoing unemployment, salary freezes and reduced college savings accounts.

In the current academic year, approximately 31 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid, up from 23.8 percent five years ago, the first year of the University's AccessUVa financial aid program. The increased participation has led to an increase in the estimated costs: The total expenditure, including all sources of financial aid, for AccessUVa has gone from $39 million in its first year to an estimated $80.1 million for 2010-11. The University's contribution from unrestricted funds to AccessUVa has increased from $9.44 million to $32.7 million.

The University will continue two important commitments: increasing socioeconomic diversity in the student body and meeting 100 percent of need for all students who are accepted, both low- and middle-income. This year, the total number of students receiving aid through AccessUVa is 4,340. More than three-quarters of these students are from middle-income families, and in the current academic year middle-income students received $18 million in need-based endowment and institutional funds.

"In the last five years, AccessUVa has achieved the board's objectives, which are to make a U.Va. education possible for any student admitted regardless of financial circumstances and to increase the diversity of the student body," said Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget.

The board also approved a number of other rate increases:

Graduate students
•    In-state graduate student tuition and fees will increase by $1,242 (9.8 percent) to $13,870; out-of-state graduate students will increase by $1,238 (5.5 percent) to $23,866.

Darden School of Business
•    Darden in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,000 (2.3 percent) to $44,500; out-of-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,000 (2.1 percent) to $49,500.

McIntire School of Commerce
•    McIntire's M.S. in accounting in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,035 (3.9 percent) to $27,250; out-of-state will increase by $1,035 (3.2) percent, to $33,250.
•    McIntire's M.S. in commerce in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,535 (4.4 percent) to $36,750; out-of-state will increase by $1,535 (3.8 percent) to $41,750.

School of Law
•    The Law School is setting tuition for first-year J.D. students and its LL.M. programs. In-state students will pay $42,500; out-of-state $47,500.
•    Law's J.D. second- and third-year in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,700  (4.4 percent) to $40,500; out-of-state will increase by $1,700 (3.9 percent) to $45,500.

School of Medicine
•    Medicine's in-state tuition and fees for first- and second-year students will increase by $2,730 (7.8 percent) to $37,880; out-of-state will increase by $3,724 (8.2 percent) to $48,874.
•    Medicine's in-state tuition and fees for third- and fourth-year students will increase by $2,670 (7.8 percent) to $37,070; out-of-state will increase by $3,664  (8.3 percent) to $48,064.

The College at Wise
•    In-state undergraduate student tuition and fees will increase by $446 (6.6 percent)  to $7,194; out-of-state will increase by $1,040 (5.4 percent) to $20,316.