The Board of Visitors’ Finance Subcommittee on Tuition met Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Carruthers Hall and voted unanimously to issue tuition rebates to all in-state undergraduate students at the University for the 2022-23 academic year. The proposal will next be voted on by the full Finance Committee and then the full board.
As the academic year has already begun and tuition has already been paid, a one-time rebate of $690 will be issued to students who qualify. This amounts to $7.5 million in total and is funded through cost savings and $2.5 million in state support.
The College at Wise will hold in-state undergraduate student tuition flat with a one-time rebate of $182. This amounts to $160,000.
The Board set tuition increases for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years at the Finance Committee meeting in December 2021. The decision made by the Board increased tuition by 4.7 percent this academic year after a tuition freeze was implemented during the 2021-22 academic year largely on account of COVID-19.
Governor Glenn Youngkin has urged Virginia universities to freeze tuition for the upcoming school year. At least 10 schools have agreed to do so.
The Finance Subcommittee on Tuition last convened Aug. 9 when members reviewed previous tuition decisions and discussed challenges arising from returning to normal operations post-pandemic. The subcommittee did not make any decisions related to tuition at the Aug. 9 meeting.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Rector Whittington Clement voiced his support for the proposal and said that there is a balancing act between making sure families of the University receive value out of their investment and that the University is able to meet its financial needs.
“I am comfortable with the recommendation and I do applaud the governor for trying to stand up for the families of Virginia,” Clement said.
While in agreement with this proposal, Board member Tom DePasquale said that in the future it would be better suited to the needs of the University if decisions such as this one were made before the academic year had started.
Pasquale blamed the issue on Youngkin’s pressure to freeze tuition and read aloud a letter he plans to send to the governor.
“[To] do this post the budgeting process requires unnatural financial steps that often bypass basic controls,” Pasquale said. “I simply question if this initiative is worth the long-term impact.”
The Finance Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday to hear and vote on the proposal.