Since the early 1990s, economic conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia have resulted in reduced revenue available for state supported programs. Medicaid, mental health, corrections, and K-12 education funding needs have often taken precedence over financial support for higher education, resulting in a series of budget reductions to public institutions of higher education over the last 20 years and a shift in responsibility for paying for higher education from taxpayers to students. Not only has taxpayer support for the University declined, but other revenue sources contributing to the University budget have risen, resulting in a smaller share of the budget supported by the state.
For the University as a whole (including the College at Wise and the Medical Center), the state is slated to contribute 5.8%, or $154.4 million, of the University's $2.6 billion, 2012-13 budget.
For the Academic Division alone (excluding the College at Wise and the Medical Center), the state is slated to contribute 10.2%, or $139.5 million, of the division's $1.36 billion, 2012-13 budget.
In 2012-13, the University expects to receive an increase of $8 million in the budgeted state general fund appropriation for the Academic Division compared to the revised 2011-12 amount. This is the first year in the past six years that the University has not faced state budget reductions. The previous five years resulted in a cumulative reduction in state taxpayer support of $51.5 million, or 32% between 2007-08 and 2011-12.
At the same time, the University is being asked to boost its enrollment to support the goals of the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, which calls for an additional 100,000 degrees to be conferred statewide over the next 15 years. Accordingly, the Board of Visitors has approved an increase in enrollment of 1,673 undergraduate students and 99 graduate students between fall 2011 and fall 2018. In fall 2011, the University enrolled an on-Grounds first-year class that was larger than the previous year's, while maintaining the existing ratio of 69% in-state to 31% out-of-state students. To support a larger enrollment, the 2012-13 budget includes $1.8 million from incremental gross tuition revenues related to the new students and $691,000 in state support from the 2012 Virginia General Assembly.
2012–13 State Appropriation
All University Divisions $154.4 Million
Academic Division $139.5 Million