BLACKSBURG, Va., April 23, 2009 – The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Executive Committee set tuition and fees for 2009-10. The board held the increase for tuition and mandatory fees to 5 percent. Tuition and mandatory fees for a Virginia undergraduate student will be $8,605, a $407 increase.
“In light of three years of reductions in state appropriations – our base budget has been reduced by $42.1 million – we feared that we would need a larger increase to maintain programming. In January, we forecast need for about a 9 percent increase,” said Dwight Shelton, chief financial officer.
The total state appropriation for instruction at Virginia Tech is $159 million for FY 2009-10 as compared to $190 million in 2000-01. During that time, undergraduate enrollment of Virginia students also increased by 2,018 resulting in significantly less support per student from the commonwealth. Accordingly, students carry a larger percentage of the overall cost of education than in prior years.
The use of federal stimulus monies (The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, ARRA) allows for partial mitigation of tuition increases over the next two years. “Without the stimulus monies, we’d be looking at significant tuition increases and/or major impacts on our academic programs. A portion of the ARRA funding is to be returned to students in the form of a ‘mitigation grant’. Otherwise, tuition would have risen by 6.9 percent,” said Shelton.
Non-Virginia undergrad students not living on campus will pay $21,878, a 5.1 percent increase. Total average annual costs for a Virginia undergraduate student living on campus will rise from $13,674 to $14,429 (a 5.5 percent increase). Out-of-state undergrad students will see this figure rise from $26,302 to $27,702 (a 5.3 percent increase). Note: There are varying rates for residence hall housing. The university uses an average to calculate overall room and board. A portion ($220) of the out-of-state student cost increase is due to the increase in capital fees levied by the General Assembly.
Shelton indicated that the increase in tuition is needed to ensure the availability of course sections, in light of the significant reduction in state support, and to address increased utility costs, operation and maintenance of new facilities, and mandatory cost increases.
The university will again be increasing financial aid, this year by $1.2 million, to ensure access. The university’s Funds for the Future program, President’s Scholarship Initiative, and other scholarship programs will be enhanced with the creation of the ARRA Mitigation Grant program. This year the university will provide an ARRA “Mitigation Grant” of $130 to every instate undergraduate to hold the net cost increase in Tuition and Fees 5 percent. The university will also continue the Horizon loan program for students whose family economic condition has changed due to the economic downturn such as job loss.
Graduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents will increase from $9,735 to $10,228 and move from $16,866 to $17,928 for out-of-state students. Tuition and fees for Maryland and Virginia residents attending the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will be $18,415 up from $17,336 Non-resident veterinary students will pay $40,607 annually.
Virginia Tech’s overall cost to attend remains very competitive as compared to other Virginia schools or as compared to peer colleges and universities. Virginia Tech ranks 22 of 24 peer universities nationally (SCHEV Benchmark universities) for overall cost to attend for in-state undergraduate students and 18 of 24 for out-of-state undergraduates.