The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors on Friday approved a 4 percent increase in the cost of attendance for the coming academic year.
The administration had discussed the proposal with reporters earlier in the week. That increase includes tuition, fees, room and board. Tuition by itself will go up 3.7 percent for in-state students and 4 percent for out-of-state students.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Strine said officials are working to hit the “sweet spot” that blends sticker price, financial aid and the net cost to students. The national conversation about undergraduate education is increasingly turning to net cost, he said. For many middle-class students, that net cost is often lower at private institutions, which often charge higher sticker prices, then plow that money back into financial aid for the middle class. He said that is despite strong efforts by UVa to boost aid.
Declining state support has meant that UVa has been forced to turn increasingly to students for revenue, even as the spending power of family wages for much of the country has failed to rise for decades, he said.
And UVa is adding lab fees for the first time, said Colette Sheehy, the university’s vice president for management and budget.
Undergraduate and graduate nursing students will pay $60 per credit hour for clinical classes, while undergraduate engineering students will pay $32 per credit, but will have to pay it for all undergraduate engineering courses because virtually all such courses have a lab component, she said.
The cost of an engineering graduate degree is going up 7.2 percent in-state and 4.4 percent out-of-state, to $16,190 and $26,196, respectively.
Most other graduate degrees saw 3.7 percent increases in-state, to $15,662, and 2.3 percent increases out-of-state, to $25,668.
Tuition for a master’s of public policy from the Batten School is going up 11.8 percent in-state and 12.3 percent out-of-state, for costs of $16,886 and $28,186, respectively.
Graduate degrees in business went up $1,900 for everyone, and law went up $1,800 for all, increases of 3.5 percent to 4 percent in both cases.
The cost of medical schooling went up in the neighborhood of 4.5 percent, though exact figures varied by a student’s year in the school.
Board member Alan A. Diamonstein, participating in Friday’s meeting by phone, said he disliked the hikes but understood their necessity.
“I also understand the responsibility we have to provide the university with the assets we need,” he said.
Rector Helen Dragas said she echoes those sentiments.