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U.Va.’s Board Of Visitors Sets 2004-05 Tuition And Fees

April 15, 2004 -- Undergraduate Virginians studying at the University of Virginia will pay $636 more in tuition and fees next year, for a total of $6,600 per year, under a package of tuition and fee increases approved today by the University’s Board of Visitors. Their non-Virginian classmates will pay an additional $716, for a total of $22,700.

The new figures represent a 10.7 percent increase for in-state students over last year’s prices for tuition and fees of $5,964, but only an 8.7 percent ($1,006) increase when the total cost of education, which includes room and board, is used as the basis for comparison.

Non-Virginians will see a 3.3 percent rise in tuition and fees over last year’s cost of $21,984, and a 3.9 percent ($1,086) rise in the total cost of education.

The increase comes at a time when the state budget has stalled in the General Assembly, and state agencies, including colleges and universities, are being required to make financial decisions without the benefit of knowing what their state appropriations will be.

Funding issues in the form of state-mandated tuition rollbacks and consecutive years of tuition freezes have dogged higher education in Virginia for much of the past decade. As a result, the 2003-04 tuition at U.Va. is actually less than inflation-adjusted 1995-96 tuition.

In addition, over the current two-year budget cycle, 2002 through 2004, the Commonwealth cut $617 million in taxpayer support from higher education appropriations, resulting in a 31.1 percent reduction in state appropriations to U.Va. During the current budget year, the state is providing 8.1 percent of the University’s total budget, which includes the Medical Center.

Colette Sheehy, U.Va.’s vice president for management and budget, said today’s tuition and fee increases should work with whatever state budget is eventually signed into law. “No matter which budget proposal emerges during the current legislative process, some tuition increases are unavoidable and necessary to maintain the quality of education at the University,” she said.

Even so, “we try never to talk about tuition without also talking about access to education and financial aid,” said Leonard W. Sandridge Jr., the University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

In February, the University made history among public institutions of higher education by launching a groundbreaking financial aid program called “Access UVa,” through which all eligible undergraduate students will be offered financial aid packages that meet 100 percent of their demonstrated need. Students whose family income is at or below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines will receive grants in place of student loans and thereby graduate free of debt. Beginning in fall 2005, all other students receiving need-based aid will have their loans capped at 25 percent of the total cost of an in-state education in order to reduce the debt they carry at graduation.

About $2 million of the $11.6 million in additional revenue yielded by the tuition increases will augment the funding for Access UVa. The new tuition revenues also will fund additional salary and benefit increases for faculty and staff ($7.6 million), and increased utility, lease and operating and maintenance costs ($2 million).

“Even with these increases, we expect that a U.Va. education will remain a relative value in the higher education marketplace,” Sheehy said.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-1400

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Top News site edited by Dan Heuchert (dnh6n@virginia.edu); maintained by Karen Asher (kac@virginia.edu); releases posted by Sally Barbour (sab4w@virginia.edu).
Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:42:16 EST
© 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
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