The University of Virginia will reimburse in-state students for the nearly 5% tuition hike over the past year, the university’s Board of Visitors decided Friday.
The board voted to give students a one-time credit of $690, the same amount as the 4.7% tuition increase for the 2022-23 school year. The university will apply the refund to the in-state UVa undergraduate tuition bill.
The board also approved a one-time $182 credit for in-state undergraduate students at UVa Wise. The board previously approved a 3% increase in base tuition for the 2022-23 school year.
“Setting tuition fees is one of the most important decisions that the management and board of any university make,” said Whittington Clement, rector of the university’s Board of Visitors.
“Over the past few months, we have done a thorough job of assessing the Governor’s request and several other key factors that made it easier to earn this credit, while maintaining our university’s strong financial position,” he said. he declares. “This milestone is a positive outcome for the university and for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
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The refund will cost the university a total of $75 million. It will not change the total tuition fees or apply to university fees.
Students will see the tuition credit in their student account for the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters.
The board decided on tuition for the next two years last December before Governor Glenn Youngkin took office. The plan included tuition increases for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years and countered Youngkin’s demand that public institutions in the state keep tuition fees stable.
Although the council responded to Youngkin’s request, not all members were happy with the political interference.
“I am troubled by your administration’s request/requirements that have circumvented the existing systems in place,” board member Thomas A DePasquale read in a personal letter to Youngkin during the subcommittee meeting. finance on Friday morning.
“Mandating short-term financial strategies for Commonwealth public colleges and schools fails to recognize the highly effective governance structure that was designed for, and has provided, sound financial management for our institutions,” he wrote. .
DePasquale listed several problems with the handover, including forced financial moves that could take years to fix, reputational damage by injecting short-term political wishes at the expense of a multi-year financial plan, and fewer resources to pay staff and faculty at competitive rates. .
Youngkin praised UVa’s efforts to keep tuition flat.
“At a time when inflation is hurting so many Virginia families, I appreciate the steps taken by so many public universities across the Commonwealth to keep tuition flat and I applaud UVa for seriously considered taking similar action,” Youngkin said in a written statement.
UVa is one of only two public universities in Virginia to be creative at Youngkin’s request. Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech both approved scholarships earlier this year to offset tuition increases.
UVa has successfully maintained tuition twice in the past four years. The university kept tuition flat in 2019 and again at the onset of the pandemic in 2021.
The end of the tuition suspension has increased costs for freshmen from $14,878 to $16,500. Tuition for all other undergraduate and graduate students has increased 4.7% since the spring.
For example, in-state tuition for students in all years of the School of Education and Human Development has increased from $14,188 last year to $14,878 this year.
Compared to the dramatic decline in state funding per student over the past few decades, UVa tuition has been rising slowly, according to Brian Coy, spokesperson for UVa. State funding has declined to the point that the combined income from in-state tuition and state funding is actually lower today than it was in 1990-91.
By comparison, tuition costs represent 11% of the budget for the 2022-23 school year, compared to 30% in 1991.
Base higher education inflation rates in the state have nearly doubled since students left Grounds due to the pandemic in 2020, while tuition has risen just 4%, according to the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI).
The HEPI is used by UVa as part of a formula to determine tuition each year.
UVa increased tuition fees by 1.48% for 2016-17; 2.18% for 2017-18; 2.4% for 2018-19, 0% for 2019-20; 3.6% in 2020-21 and 0% again for 2021-22.
According to the Board’s Finance Subcommittee, UVa is supporting low-income students and those in need of financial assistance with measures that include a cap on loan amounts and larger grants from interest on the university’s $14.5 billion endowment.