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Class Giving Committee kicks off 2015 campaign

Committee said tuition accounts for 17 percent of total budget, adjusted numbers suggest 36 percent

Last week marked the beginning of the class giving campaign for the Class of 2015 — an annual effort to solicit donations to the University from members of the graduating class.

One of the goals of class giving is to continue many University programs that can no longer be funded under current revenue levels.

"As much as we love this place, state funding and tuition can't maintain U.Va.'s history of excellence," the Class Giving Committee said in an email to the Class of 2015. "Your help and support will help ensure that future students have the same memorable college experience that we had, if not better."Fourth-year students are encouraged to give not only directly to the University, but to other affiliated organizations, like CIOs, and events, such as Lighting of the Lawn.

“People we have told about Class Giving have been surprised that something like that exists. They didn’t know they could give back to Access[UVA] or their own CIO,” said Emily Anne Self, a fourth-year College student and Class Giving Committee Co-Chair. “No matter how small, 100 percent of the money they do give goes directly to the organization.”The Committee said since tuition only supports 17 percent of all costs required to run the University, student donations are needed in order to fund the costs of running the University and other on-Grounds programs.

This percentage is accurate for the 2013-14 budget; however, tuition is expected to cover slightly more — 19.2 percent — of all University expenses in the 2014-15 budget. This number also includes revenue from the entire University, including the Medical Center and the College at Wise.The Medical Center, however, represents almost half of the 2014-15 total budget at 46 percent and projected revenues are slightly higher than projected expenses, meaning that the Medical Center is self-sustaining.When considering just the Academic Division and not the Medical Center or the College at Wise, since tuition dollars are not appropriated to either facility, tuition accounts for 36.4 percent of revenue.

“One of the reasons why we highlight tuition is because it’s such a small part of the U.Va. cost structure — there are many other sources [of revenue] such as donors, state funding, hospital revenues, etc.,” said Trustees Vice President Blake Griggs, a fourth-year College student. “As a student and alumnus, your individual contributions can make a difference at U.Va.”

The numbers on the percent of revenue which comes from tuition were provided to Trustees by the Alumni Association.

The more than one-third of academic revenue coming from tuition may be in part attributable to low levels of state funding. At the University of North Carolina, tuition makes up only 11 percent of total revenue, but the school received $22,131 from the state of North Carolina per in-state student in the 2013-14 school year. In that same timeframe, the University received $9,518 per in-state student, according to the newest University budget.

Tuition dollars go toward a variety of sources in the Academic Division. More than 52 percent of tuition and general state funds go toward academic instruction and support. An additional 12.9 percent is given as scholarships and financial aid, while less than three percent contributes to research and less than seven percent goes to administrative costs.

“Giving now gets students into the spirit of getting comfortable with giving later on when you are able to give back more and your donation can go so much farther to help the University,” Griggs said. “Every little bit counts.”