Modest UVa tuition increase. The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors has approved a 2.9% increase in-state tuition increase for undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences students next academic year, although other schools in the university may differ. The university’s financial aid program, Access UVa, will keep pace with tuition increases, reports the Daily Progress.
The board’s Finance Committee said it had exhausted other options before considering slight increases to undergraduate tuition but believed 2.9- to 3.5-percent increases in most schools are necessary. The increases represent only a modest premium over the 2.3% increase in the Consumer Price Index between September 2017 and September 2018. The modest price hikes (modest by comparison to past years) coincides with a $2.2 million increase in state support in Fiscal 2020.
Big bonus for Rao. The Virginia Commonwealth University board of visitors has approved a 14% bonus for President Michael Rao, already one of the highest-paid public university presidents in the U.S., reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Rao’s one-time bonus, which the RTD estimates could total more than $25,000, was based on a performance evaluation as called for in his contract. The president’s compensation in the 2016-17 academic year was $691,000, including salary, bonus and other pay.
The RTD article did not reveal what performance criteria, if any, Rao is judged by. However, the article noted that tuition for the typical in-state undergraduate student increased $866 this year, about 6%. Also, VCU fell short of its goals to recruit out-of-state students, creating a budget shortfall of $1.38 million. Another strategic goal is to reduce student debt, but the article provided no data on Rao’s success in that regard. One area in which VCU has been successful in recent years has been in reducing college dropouts and increasing the six-year graduation rate.
College affordability dashboard. Our friends (and former sponsors) at Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust have published a college affordability dashboard for Virginia institutions. The dashboard calculates a “net price” that adjusts the cost of attendance by the amount of financial aid provided. The affordability rankings look very different from rankings based on sticker price alone.
Christopher Newport University — $22,700
Virginia Commonwealth University — $20,741
University of Mary Washington — $20,182
Virginia Tech — $18,700
George Mason University — $18,629
Longwood University — $18,227
College of William & Mary — $17,415
Virginia State University — $16,427
James Madison University — $16,154
Virginia Military Institute — $16,085
Old Dominion University — $15,213
Norfolk State University — $14, 429
Radford University — $13,573
University of Virginia-Wise — $11,418
Students from affluent families still pay the full sticker price (unless they receive a rare merit scholarship).