Youngkin tells VA universities to cancel tuition increases amid record inflation

By Alexa Schwerha, Campus Reform

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is calling on the commonwealth’s college and university presidents to reverse tuition increases for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Governor Youngkin’s office referred Campus Reform to the Governor’s statement:

“I strongly urge our colleges and university boards to show restraint in tuition increases just as you have been doing during the pandemic… There are ways to grow universities without growing tuition. And the reason this is important is, if we are not careful, we will price first-generation students and those that come from low-income homes out of the market. And we can’t do that, because of the transformative impact a college degree has on the life of Virginians.”

 

The office also referred Campus Reform to a statement from Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera:

“The presidents are sharing their commitment to keep higher education affordable and accessible.”

 

As Campus Reform has previously reported, 90% of US top 30 schools increased tuition to keep up with record-high inflation.

In May, the inflation rate peaked at 8.6%.

The University of Virginia was included in the list and will increase tuition and fees 4.7% for the upcoming academic year.

Tuition for the upcoming year at the Charlottesville campus will tally near $11,500 for in-state residents and $31,200 for out-of-state students.

The price will rise another 3.7% for the 2023-2024 academic year, as well.

Fourteen of the state’s 15 public colleges are also planning to increase tuition or fees for the new year.

James Madison University (Harrisonburg) approved a 3.94% tuition increase for in-state students and a 1.5% increase for out-of-state students in April. However, the Executive Committee voted on Wednesday to reduce the in-state increase to 3% and provide a one-time scholarship to resident students to offset the cost.

Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), George Mason University (Fairfax), and Virginia Military Institute (Lexington) will impose a 3% increase in tuition.

Radford University (Radford) imposed a 2.96% increase and Old Dominion University (Norfolk) approved a 2.99% tuition hike.

Virginia Military Institute Director of Communications & Marketing Bill Wyatt told Campus Reform that tuition and fees are set by the school’s Board of Visitors. The board was scheduled to meet Friday morning to discuss the rate for the upcoming year.

Tuition increases are also being considered at the University of Mary Washington (2-6%) in Fredericksburg and the University of Virginia at Wise (2-3%).

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) introduced a tuition increase for the 2022-2023 academic year that will be offset by a one-time mitigation scholarship for in-state students, while out-of-state students will pay a 3% increase.

Student fees will increase by 5.7%.

The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg) will increase fees 2.5% but Director of News and Media Suzanne Clavet confirmed to Campus Reform that students would not see a tuition increase, a continuation of a five-year trend.

“William & Mary announced last month that there would be no tuition increase for our undergraduate students this year – the fifth straight year with no tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students,” she stated.

Norfolk State University considered a 5% fees increase, however, Director of Media Relations Stan Donaldson told Campus Reform no decision has been finalized.

Virginia State University (Ettrick) increased the charge for its technology fee by 5%.

In May, the Virginia General Assembly voted to approve a 10% salary increase for public school educators over two years. The first installment will be effective July 1, 2022, with the second installment slated for 2023.

Inflation has been a concerning issue for colleges across the country ahead of the fall semester.

Boston University cited increased operation costs as its rationale for increasing tuition by 4.25%. That jump was the largest increase at the university in 14 years.

Increased costs have also forced two community colleges to consider remote learning for the fall semester. Both Southwest Tennessee Community College and Southwestern Community College, located in North Carolina, will implement a partially remote schedule for the summer term.

Campus Reform contacted every university mentioned for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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