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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

August 3, 2009

SCHEV Reports Lowest Tuition Increases in 8 Years

RICHMOND— Virginia undergraduate students at public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth can expect to pay 5.2% more on average in tuition and mandatory fees in 2009-10 than they did during the previous academic year, according to an annual report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).  This is lower than the 7.3% average increase students faced at Virginia public institutions last fall and is the lowest annual tuition and mandatory fee increase since Fall 2001.

The SCHEV report, entitled “2009-10 Tuition and Fees at Virginia’s State-Supported Colleges and Universities,” reveals that in-state students at four-year public institutions will experience an average increase in tuition and mandatory fees of 5.3%, or about an additional $401 per year. Virginia students attending community colleges will undergo a 7.6% increase, paying about $197 more per year. 

Most of Virginia’s public institutions were able to hold the line on tuition increases due to the economic stimulus funding they received as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). While state funding to higher education institutions was reduced on average by 14% from FY2008 to FY2010, the 2009 Virginia General Assembly allocated $126.7 million of the Commonwealth’s approximately $4.8 billion in ARRA funds to public institutions to mitigate tuition increases for in-state students.

“The Council is pleased that Virginia’s public colleges and universities are able to respond to the needs of students and their families during this difficult economic time by keeping tuition increases to their lowest levels in eight years,” says Daniel J. LaVista, SCHEV’s Executive Director. “SCHEV is committed to working with state legislators and institutional leaders to ensure that Virginians are not forced to choose between affordability and the quality instruction and services that make our public institutions among the finest in the nation.”

In addition to comparing charges in Virginia to those in other states, the report examines historic trends and the relationship between planned and actual rates of increase at each of the public colleges and universities.  A copy of the full report is available on the SCHEV web site at   

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 information on Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues.

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