The University of Virginia Board of Visitors will next week take up tuition and fees for the 2021-22 academic year, including a proposal from the administration to hold base undergraduate tuition at its current rate.
UVA President Jim Ryan said the proposal was the result of meetings with student groups, feedback from students and families, consultation with the Board of Visitors, and thorough deliberation.
“The past year has been a difficult and unusual one,” Ryan said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial stress for many students and families and created an altered learning environment and abnormal student experience. This is the right thing to do at this moment, and we are thankful for all of the thoughtful input we have received, which helped us arrive at this point.”
The Board of Visitors sets tuition and fees and will consider the administration’s proposal at a special meeting on Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m.
“The University continues to offer one of best values in higher education and this tuition proposal reflects our commitment to access and affordability,” UVA Rector James B. Murray said. “Tuition has been, and continues to be, the last lever used to meet spending needs, and we are especially sensitive this year to the hardships that COVID has created.”
Under the proposal, tuition rates for graduate and professional programs would increase based on market demand, cost of instructional delivery and each school’s strategic priorities. In addition, the recommendation to maintain the base undergraduate tuition rate does not impact previously approved upper-division tuition differentials.
The proposal also includes a $114 increase in the mandatory non-educational and general fee for students. Of the increase, $75 will address increases in Student Health volume in the areas of general medicine, Counseling and Psychological Services and accessibility needs across Grounds. This increase is the final year of a four-year plan to increase service offerings while the University moves forward with expanding Student Health facilities. The remaining $39 will address operational needs in the Department of Athletics, recreation facilities and Newcomb Hall.
The pandemic has led to more than $100 million in additional expenses and lost revenues for the University. Along with state and federal assistance, those losses have been managed using a comprehensive set of financial controls, including hiring and salary freezes, budget reductions and reducing all discretionary spending.
“It has been a challenging year, but we have worked in partnership with the board to navigate these financial obstacles,” Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis said. “We are so thankful for the dedication and commitment of our employees during this time and pleased to be able to hold the undergraduate base tuition constant this year.”
The University will continue to offer the most generous financial aid program in Virginia, meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all undergraduate students and offering admission to students without regard to their ability to pay the cost of their education – one of only two public universities in the nation to make those commitments.
UVA also fully covers tuition and fees for students from Virginia families who earn less than $80,000 per year and have typical assets. It fully covers tuition, fees and room and board for students from Virginia families earning less than $30,000 per year with typical assets. Need-based loans are capped at $1,000 per year for low-income Virginians and $4,500 per year for other in-state students with demonstrated need.
Last year, UVA provided approximately $132.5 million in need-based financial aid grants to undergraduate students through its financial aid program, Access UVA. Fifty-three percent of undergraduate students received some level of financial assistance, and 66% of UVA undergraduate students graduate with no debt.
UVA also continues to be rated as one of the best values in higher education by both Kiplinger and Money magazine.
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has proposed a 3% increase in tuition and education and general fees for both in-state and out-of-state students, which will also be taken up by the Board of Visitors. Those recommended increases are in accordance with the College at Wise’s Six-Year Plan and have been reviewed with the Wise College Board.