Friday, April 22, 2011

Tech Tuition Continues To Climb

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Executive Committee today set tuition and fees for the 2011-12 academic year rising for a Virginia undergraduate student to $10,509, an increase of $920. Tuition and mandatory fees for a non-Virginia undergraduate student will be $24,480, an increase of $1,263.

Total average annual costs for a Virginia undergraduate student living on campus with a meal plan will increase from $15,879 to $17,365. Out of state undergraduate students will see this figure rise from $29,507 to $31,336.

According to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, the increase in tuition and fees is necessary to ensure continued availability of course sections and to address escalating utility costs and the operation and maintenance of new facilities as state support for higher education continues to decline.

"We are very appreciative that this year Governor McDonnell recommended, and the General Assembly appropriated, an increase in funding for higher education, after several years of reductions, and the support for higher education shown through the adoption of the new legislation resulting from the governor's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation, and Investment is heartening," said Steger.

"At the same time, state funding for Virginia Tech remains well below that of 10 years ago, even though our enrollment and programs have grown significantly. State funding for Virginia Tech's educational division has plunged from $182 million in 2000-01 to $131 million in 2011-12," said Steger.

State support per in-state student at Virginia Tech is less than half today, once adjusted for inflation, than it was a decade ago. The state’s share of Virginia Tech’s educational cost has dropped from 58 percent in 2000-01 down to 28 percent in the coming fiscal year.

“While the economy has begun to recover in Virginia, the next fiscal year contains the outcome of previously scheduled federal and state actions,” said Steger. “The university will lose an additional $16 million in state funding, partially offset by $3 million in new funding for Fiscal Year 11-12. Further, the university will no longer receive $21 million in federal stimulus funding that was designed to temporarily plug the hole created by state funding cuts. The net effect is a fiscal shift of a larger portion of the cost of education from public sources to students which increases tuition.”

In spite of funding cuts, Virginia Tech has managed to retain key programs, minimize loss of faculty positions, and mitigate impact on course offerings.

Virginia Tech plans to again increase university funds for need-based financial aid by more than $1.3 million in the upcoming year--raising this total to approximately $13.1 million--to further ensure access. The university’s Funds for the Future program and Presidential Scholarship Initiative will continue to assist student with financial need, and it will continue the Horizons Program for students whose family must cope with job loss or other economic downturns.

Virginia Tech's total financial aid program, which includes state and federal loans and grants, scholarships, institutional support, and College Work Study grants, is expected to exceed $370 million in Fiscal Year 2011-12.

Graduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents will increase from $10,993 to $11,705, and will increase from $19,957 to $21,723 for out-of-state students. Tuition and fees for Maryland and Virginia residents attending the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will be $20,636, up from $19,675 a year ago. Non-resident veterinary students will pay $44,608, up from $42,704.

Virginia Tech continues to grow enrollment in response to demand, even while losing state support, Steger noted.

Virginia student full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment grew at Virginia Tech from 18,609 in 2004-05 to 21,544 in 2010-11. Total university FTE enrollment grew from 27,686 in 2004-05 to 31,520 in 2010-11.

(Virginia Tech press release.)

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