Board of Visitors approves tuition increases

Costs for graduate, undergraduate students to rise for the 2013-14 school year

The University Board of Visitors passed a set of tuition and fees increases for the 2013-14 school year by a vote of 14-2 on Thursday. The changes are set to affect both graduate and undergraduate students.

The Board’s approval of fees and base tuition increases “provides funds to meet the University’s share of the state authorized salary increases, and provides funds to enhance academic excellence,” according to the agenda for the meeting.

As a result of these increases, in-state undergraduate students will see a $452 increase in tuition and fees, which amounts to 3.8 percent of current rates. For out-of-state students, tuition will increase by 4.8 percent, or $1,826 annually.

Beginning in fall 2013, the University will also begin phasing in a $2,000 per year tuition increase for students in the Engineering Schools due to the “resource-intensive nature of engineering education,” which will take four years to implement. As this extra cost is added, the University will phase out the $32 per credit hour fee that is currently attached to engineering courses.

These changes are in addition to a 3.9 percent base tuition increase for Engineering students, which will leave Virginian first-years paying $14,458 in tuition and fees and non-Virginian first-years paying $41,844.

Rector Helen Dragas, who cast one of the two dissenting votes, argued that greater consideration should be given to the financial constraints of the student body, even when those of the University are increasingly severe.

“The salient point for me is: what is the reality in terms of what Virginians can afford?” Dragas said. “And Virginians’ incomes have gone down in the last 10 years, while our tuition has increased. These are our real constituents — Virginia families.”

In addition to the tuition changes, the Board approved a 2.9 percent average increase in the cost of meal plans and a 3.5 percent average increase in the cost of housing.

During the meeting, supporters of the Living Wage Campaign protested outside the Rotunda and were intervally allowed in and out of the meeting.

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