April 15, 2011 — In the wake of continued reductions in state general fund support to the University of Virginia, the Board of Visitors met Thursday to set tuition and fees for the 2011-12 academic year.
In the upcoming fiscal year, the University will see not only a $13 million budget cut, but also the end of American Recovery and Reinvestment stabilization funds, which for the past two years have helped ease the blow of state cuts. Since 2007, the University's appropriation from the state general fund has been cut five times by a total of nearly $52 million.
Despite the economic stresses, the University is holding tuition increases to under 10 percent for the eighth consecutive year. In-state undergraduates will see an increase of $948 – or 8.9 percent – in required tuition and fees, bringing the annual total to $11,576.
Out-of-state undergraduates will also see an 8.9 percent increase – or $2,996 – bringing the annual total of tuition and required fees to $36,570.
Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, described the complex process that goes into setting tuition, which this year included: investing in academic programs, ensuring affordability through AccessUVa, identifying unavoidable spending requirements, supporting board initiatives, adjusting for additional reductions in state support and the loss of federal stimulus allocations, and funding operations and maintenance for new facilities,
The tuition proposal will generate $3.4 million for AccessUVa, Sheehy said. An additional $4.6 million in institutional funds will also be required to meet the cost of AccessUVa, which is expected to exceed $90 million next year.
In the current academic year, approximately 35 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid, up from 23.8 percent just six years ago.
Despite the tuition increases, the University's in-state tuition continues to sit at the mid-range of the scale when compared to its public and private peer groups as compiled by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. The average public college tuition for the current academic year – 2010-11 – is $9,693. The average private school tuition is $39,498, while the overall average of college tuition across the country is $22,979.
The University's tuition was less than Washington University at St. Louis, Duke University, Cornell University, Emory University, University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley, but more than the universities of Maryland, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida.
Some numbers to watch, Sheehy said, are the general fund appropriations per in-state student at public institutions around the country.
In 2010-11, the commonwealth's per-in-state-student appropriation to the University was $8,470. In the coming year, it is expected to drop below $8,000. Since 2000, when the state contribution was $12,011, the state's funding per in-state student has decreased every year. The current academic year is the first in which an in-state student's contribution toward the cost of his/her education is larger than the state's.
By contrast, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, receives $24,000 per in-state student; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, $17,600.
In addition to trying to keep a check on tuition increases, Sheehy said that the University is looking to make minimal increases in housing and meals. The average increase in meal plan rates will be 3.7 percent and in housing 4.5 percent.
The University continues to be at the lower end of the scale when compared with peer institutions, both public and private.
The board also approved a number of other tuition and fee increases. They include:
• In-state graduate student tuition and fees will increase by $1,228 (8.9 percent) to $15,098; out-of-state graduate students will increase by $1,228 (5.1 percent) to $25,094.
Darden School of Business
• Darden in-state tuition and fees will increase by $2,500 (5.6 percent) to $47,000; out-of-state tuition and fees will increase by $2,500 (5.1 percent) to $52,000.
McIntire School of Commerce
• McIntire's M.S. in accounting in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,250 (4.6 percent) to $28,500; out-of-state will increase by $1,250 (3.8 percent) to $34,500.
• McIntire's M.S. in commerce in-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,670 (4.5 percent) to $38,420; out-of-state will increase by $1,670 (4 percent) to $43,420.
• J.D. students entering in fall 2011, students who entered in fall 2010, and L.L.M. students: in-state students will see an increase of $2,100 (4.9 percent) to $44,600; out-of-state students will see an increase of $2,100 (4.4 percent) to $49,600.
• Law's J.D. students who entered in fall 2009: in-state will see increase of $2,000 (4.9 percent) to $42,500; out-of-state: increase of $2,000 (4.4 percent) to $47,500.
• Medicine's in-state tuition and fees for first- and second-year students will increase by $3,457 (9.1 percent) to $41,337; out-of-state will increase by $2,135 (4.4 percent) to $51,009.
• Medicine's in-state tuition and fees for third- and fourth-year students will increase by $2,817 (7.6 percent) to $39.887; out-of-state will increase by $1,945 (4 percent) to $50,009.
• In-state undergraduate student tuition and fees will increase by $527 (7.3 percent) to $7,721; out-of-state will increase by $1,020 (5 percent) to $21,336.