BOV passes tuition, housing hikes

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May 15, 2010

5:02 PM

The Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary approved substantial undergraduate tuition increases for the 2010-11 academic year at a special session May 15.

The increases, which took effect this semester, raise tuition and fees for in-state students by 9.8 percent and for out-of-state students by 8.0 percent. Increases in room rates were also approved, raising total costs for in-state students by 6.5 percent and by 6.7 percent for those from out-of-state.

Room and board rates will remain constant through the current academic year.

“If we’re going to maintain the quality of William and Mary, then this is where we’re going to have to go,” Rector Henry Wolf ’64 J.D. ’66 said.

According to the budget adopted by the BOV, in-state yearly undergraduate tuition and fees will be increased by $1,088. Out-of-state students will see an increase of $2,500.

“The challenge before us is how to sustain this exceptional educational opportunity — and how to enable the university to remain a leader among liberal arts universities — even as taxpayer support for higher education declines,” College President Taylor Reveley said in a press release.

A slight bump in tuition was approved at the BOV’s November 2009 meeting. Currently, state funding accounts for less than 14 percent of the College’s annual operating budget.

That number is expected to decline even further in the 2012 fiscal year, when one-time federal stimulus funds will no longer be available.

Other Virginia public universities have also seen tuition hikes over the past year.

In April, James Madison University approved total cost increases of 3.3 percent for in-state students and 5.7 percent for out-of-state students. Tuition at the University of Virginia went up by 9.9 percent for in-state students. Virginia Tech has approved similar increases.

According to Vice President for Finance Sam Jones ’75, the tuition revenue will account for over $7.8 million of the College’s operating budget, and will work toward increasing financial aid, as well as a faculty and staff bonus totaling $2.143 million.

Faculty and staff have been subject to layoffs and frozen raises since December 2007.

“Back in May, those bonuses were contingent on the state having a matching share for that,” Jones said. “The state does have a matching share, and those will go in December. We’re glad to be giving them.”

Fortunately, the College did not see a significant amount of faculty turnover during this period as faculty salaries across the country remained somewhat stagnant at both public and private universities, Jones said.

“We’ve not had a lot of turnover, what helped us a lot was that this wasn’t just a Virginia problem.” Jones said. “We were all in the same bowl of soup, so to speak.”

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