The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has set tuition and fee rates for 2006-07 academic year, pending action by the Virginia General Assembly.
Mandatory tuition and fees for Virginia undergraduates will rise $595 from $6,378 to $6,973 annually. Non-Virginia undergraduates not living on campus will pay $19,049 annually, up from $17,837.
Total cost for Virginia undergraduate students living on campus will rise from $10,834 to $11,739 annually, an increase of $905. Total annual cost for non-resident undergraduates will rise from $22,293 to $23,815, an increase of $1,522.
This action is consistent with the university’s long-range financial plan. The university submitted its six-year plan to state government last year projecting several years of tuition and fee increases necessary to achieve “base-budget adequacy” (BBA). The BBA concept emanated from the Virginia General Assembly Commission on Higher Education Funding Policy in Virginia, which concluded its work in December, 2000. It determined the minimum amount necessary for full funding of Virginia’s institutions of higher education.
Later in 2005, the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act required universities to project their long term funding needs to achieve full funding. The projected increases in tuition and fees are consistent with that plan.
“We continue our efforts to reinvest in higher education and offer top flight educational opportunities for students. In light of the fact that the funding we receive from the state today is about $30 million less than it was in 2000, tuition has inevitably risen. These funds are necessary to increase the number of faculty in our classrooms and laboratories, achieve salary equity for faculty and staff, and invest in quality programs such as undergraduate research opportunities. In addition, we find ourselves facing unexpected or significant increases in fuel costs and health insurance, and these costs must be addressed as well,” said President Charles Steger.
“While we know it is necessary to raise fees to maintain quality, we still are sensitive to the effects on rising costs on students and their families. We are creating and funding programs to keep school affordable,” said Steger.
The university increased financial aid in the current year by about $1.7 million and expects to make increases of the same magnitude in the coming year. Financial aid was increased by $3.4 million during the previous year.
The university also created Funds for the Future, an innovative program that fully or partially protects qualified students from tuition increases while at Virginia Tech. Almost 7,000 Virginia Tech students can benefit from the program. About 1,600 Virginians, once qualified, will never experience a tuition increase during their Virginia Tech careers.
As funding grows, the university is expanding investments in instruction and scholarship. “We added new funding to enhance undergraduate education, added new graduate students, increased support for the library, added laboratory sections in the sciences, expanded language instruction, and added 88 faculty members,” said Provost Mark McNamee.
Graduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents move from $7,977 to $8,540 and for out-of-state students move to $14,057 from $12,835. Tuition and fees for Maryland and Virginia residents attending the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will be $14,738 up from $13,769. Non-resident veterinary students will pay $33,692 annually.
Offers of admission will be distributed this week for Fall 2006. Thus, the university must set its fees for the coming year. University tuition is partially dependent on state appropriations. However, the Virginia General Assembly completed its regular session this month without passing a budget. Thus, absent a specific figure from the legislature, the fee schedule adopted is within the range and less than the maximum amount projected in the university’s six year plan.
While prices are rising, a Virginia Tech education remains an excellent value. It currently has the lowest overall cost to attend of any Virginia four-year public institution and is expected to rank about 14th of 15 public four year schools in total cost. The university currently ranks 21 of 23 against its national peer universities for in-state costs and is expected remain about the same. Virginia Tech currently ranks 18 among it 23 public peers in total undergraduate costs for out-of-state students and is expected to remain about the same.