Board of Visitors approves tuition increases, discusses security improvements

Tuition will increase 2.5 percent for incoming in-state students, 3.5 percent for incoming out-of-state students

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In order to keep the balance between affordability and excellence, the Board said the tuition increases are necessary.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

The University Board of Visitors approved a 2.5 percent increase in tuition for most entering in-state students and a 3.5 percent increase for most entering out-of-state students during Friday’s closed meeting. The Board also discussed plans for increased security protocol on Grounds.

These specific increases will impact students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Curry School of Education, and the percentages will vary for students in different schools of the University. The weighted average increase across all schools will be at 3.3 percent for in-state students and 3.9 percent for out-of-state students.

“That blend of rates among schools and among classes supports the University’s key priorities: a commitment to maintain affordability for Virginians, but also a recognition that significant investments are necessary to ensure the quality of the educational experience overall and to address strategies and specific needs at the school level,” University Spokesperson Anthony de Bruyn, said in a news release.

In light of these modifications, the University will still keep “its commitment to meet 100 percent demonstrated financial need of all undergraduate students,” de Bruyn wrote.

Efforts like the Bicentennial Scholars Fund and the Cornerstone Grant, along with the University’s cap on loans, have allowed the University to expand diversity. Since 2012, first-year minority student enrollment has increased by 38 percent, African-American enrollment of first-year students has increased by 41.5 percent. This year, the University received applications from 2,271 African-American students — an increase of 600 students when compared to 2012, the release read.

In addition to the tuition increases for incoming students, the Board also passed a $101 tuition increase for all regular-session students, which will go towards University Transit Service, filling accessibility needs across Grounds and increasing art offerings.

The Board also discussed changes and improvements in the University’s security policy. 

In a separate news report detailing security recommendations, de Bruyn said the University could make several potential improvements following a review conducted by Margolis Healy & Associates, a private security firm hired by the University after the events of Aug. 11 and 12. The review was presented to the Board Friday.

“U.Va. invests substantial time, energy, personnel and resources in making this community as safe as it possibly can be. It’s our top priority,” said Pat Hogan, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “This independent evaluation affirms our commitment and, just as important, provides recommendations for how we can do a more comprehensive job. We look forward to implementing those enhancements.”

One such recommendation made by Margolis Healy is to consolidate the University Police Department, security operations and systems, the Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety, so they all report to the University’s chief operating officer.

Additional security increases include a greater emphasis on collaborating with the rest of the Charlottesville community, developing a strategic engagement plan and centralizing the management of security systems and security considerations for buildings and other University facilities.

This follows recommendations that have already been put in place at the request of a Working Group formed by University President Teresa Sullivan as a response to the events of Aug. 11 and 12. 

These changes include extending the University Ambassadors program, utilizing MSA Security more for larger events including “A Concert for Charlottesville,” the Bicentennial Launch Weekend and the Lighting of the Lawn and implementing clear bag policies and metal detectors, de Bruyn’s release read. 

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