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NEWS RELEASE

Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
KirstenNelson@schev.edu
For Immediate Release

August 1, 2011

SCHEV Reports 7.9% Increase in Tuition and Mandatory Fees,
Down from 10.6% in 2010

RICHMOND — Virginia undergraduates at public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth can expect to pay 7.9% more on average in tuition and mandatory fees in 2011-12, as compared with last year’s increase of 10.6%. The annual report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), entitled “2010-11 Tuition and Fees at Virginia’s State-Supported Colleges and Universities,” reveals that in-state undergraduates at 4-year public institutions will experience an average increase in tuition and total mandatory fees of 8.0%, or about $704 per year. Virginia students attending community colleges will see an 8.7% increase, paying about $285 more per year, while in-state students at Richard Bland College will pay an additional $250 for an increase of 6.4%.

This year’s smaller tuition and fee increases are due in part to the Governor and the 2011 General Assembly’s allocation of $97 million in additional general fund support to public institutions of higher education. Such funding was intended to mitigate the need to increase the tuition of Virginia students in FY2012 and to support statewide initiatives such as increases in STEM degree awards and in-state student enrollment. However, even with this additional support, total state appropriations to higher education in FY2012 are lower now than they were in FY2006.

Over much of the last decade, the Commonwealth has aspired to make college education more affordable for Virginia students, and has achieved progress toward this goal. However, the recent economic downturn has eroded much of that progress. In 2011-12, the state’s contribution to the cost of education has fallen to an historical low of 51%, with Virginia’s undergraduate students shouldering an unprecedented 49% of the cost of their education—far below the Commonwealth’s cost-share goal of  67%/33%. Out-of-state undergraduate students pay in excess of 100% of their cost of education.

The report outlines much of the progress the Commonwealth has made in ensuring that Virginia’s public higher education system remains not only viable, but vibrant. Both the Higher Education Restructuring Act and the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 give the state, as well as students and parents, the ability to plan more strategically. Yet efforts must continue to make higher education more affordable and accessible to the citizens of the Commonwealth.   

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues. The full report is available on the SCHEV web site at http://www.schev.edu/reports/reportsindex.asp.

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Government Relations and Communications, at KirstenNelson@schev.edu or (804) 225-2627.

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