UVa Hikes In-State Tuition by 2.2%

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has approved a 2.2% tuition hike for in-state students and a 3.5% increase for out-of-state graduates — the second year of modest increases after years of aggressive increases.

Administrators said the increases are necessary to address $24 million in new costs next school year along with a $7 million cut in state appropriations, reports the Daily Progress.

UVa came under intense political pressure during the 2017 General Assembly session when legislators proposed a series of bills that would constrain the ability of public Virginia universities to raise tuition. None of the bills passed, but they put the higher-ed establishment on notice that citizens were running out of patience with the runaway cost of attendance at Virginia colleges.

It will be interesting to see if the UVa decision portends a moderation in tuition increases at other public institutions.

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13 responses to “UVa Hikes In-State Tuition by 2.2%”

  1. djrippert Avatar

    How about no increase in tuition financed by giving the slush fund a minor haircut? BTW, Has our bold and courageous General Assembly dragged those UVA miscreants to Richmond to get to the bottom of that slush fund yet?

    1. djrippert Avatar

      The hearing answered the mechanics of where the money came from. It never addressed the closed door decision to use the money to raise rankings vs reduce tuitions. Nor did it clarify why the expenditure of such a large amount of public funds should be kept secret.

      UVA contends that it HAS to raise tuition on in state students. In fact, it does not. It simply chooses to do so in order to preserve the right to spend the slush fund on activities it considers more important than affordably educating the students of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      Again I ask – where is the oversight from the General Assembly?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    the continuing focus on UVA makes no sense. The tuition inflation issue is pretty much across the board throughout Va and the Nation and UVA is not the worst offender by a long shot – yet it’s being held to a different standard.

    Higher Ed is a business. They’ll charge whatever the market will support and use the profits to make themselves bigger and stronger as a competitor to other institutions.

    and Don’t whine about tax money. For profit schools use tax money also and I hear no demands from the complainers about tuition costs at for-profit education institutions even though there are clearly problems with the value of their offerings..

    You can’t just target UVA if you’re really serious about the issue.

  3. UVa is the flagship institution of the state. It warrants more coverage than other institutions.

  4. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Like hell it does. Some of us consider Mr. Jefferson’s alma mater the flagship, given it was 130 years old when they broke ground in C-ville, and I remain convinced that Tech is the best value proposition today and may have the superior world-wide reputation. But those are marketing arguments.

    Larry is right that what really matters is what is happening across the board. Also focusing on the percentage increase can be misleading, when UVa and W&M have among the highest base amounts to start with. A three percent increase somewhere else might be less money than 2.2 percent at UVa. Basically the price of a four-year term went up $1,200, and of course since UVa doesn’t have the fixed price approach that W&M now has, there will likely be three more price hikes before graduation…

    But the upper limit is not what the market will support but what the lenders will provide. Those of us alarmed at the trend lines may need to start focusing on that. I’d also like to see more focus on the fact the best and the brightest from all the other and cheaper schools are going to do just fine, and plenty of graduates of UVa and W&M will end up working for THEM in the long run.

    1. LocalGovGuy Avatar

      Have you ever worked outside of this country? When I worked for McKinsey, I can assure you that people knew U.Va. and Darden. I doubt anyone could name another Virginia university besides U.Va. and William and Mary. I worked with 2 William and Mary grads and never came across an alum from another Virginia university in over 30 years of consulting around the globe.

      I imagine that if you talked to Goldman (Top in Finance) or Skadden (Top in Law), you’d find the same…U.Va. is known, William and Mary a little less so, and the others are met with”Who? Huh?”

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Ask some dead Yankees about VMI. And that school’s reputation just got started at Chancellorsville.

        Given the size of the other schools forty years ago I’m not surprised by your experience. Over the next 40 years it will be different.

        But when I lived outside the U.S. it was true my Dad had to really search to find Tech football scores in the Stars and Stripes :).

    2. djrippert Avatar

      Apparently, Mr Jefferson was so disappointed by his experiences at William & Mary he undertook the creation of a new, separate university in Charlottesville!

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” But the upper limit is not what the market will support but what the lenders will provide.”

    well yes…. and it is an important distinction… I doubt seriously that UVA or the other institutions would have near the demand if the loans were unavailable or were much more limited.

    I think in another thread it was said that the unfunded liabilities of the pension systems was one trillion or so.. That’s actually close to the number of college loans! We hammer the States for their unfunded liabilities.. what about these loans?

    re: Why UVA deserves being held to a different standard.

    what.. because they are a known “brand” around the world?

    that’s the reason they should be forced by the govt to charge different tuitions than other institutions?

    the heck you say.

    I agree with Steve – VaTech may not be as well known but Va Tech is, in fact, an Engineering School of some repute and merit in it’s own right and I think more substance than many other institutions in Va save UVA or VCU or W&M.

    If Va Tech did what LIberty is doing -they’d be one of the biggest Universities in the country!

  6. I don’t think the hearing Jim referred to ever got to the clarifying “what did the President know and when did he know it” moment. (I am not suggesting UVA did anything illegal a la Watergate. I think this was allowed by the restructuring agreement.) By that, I mean we never really got to the bottom of where funds like the “University Bank” which went into the SIF initially came from (there is no source of revenue with that name). If you look at the report from the auditors, they mention medical center surpluses as a source, but almost as a footnote, and they don’t quantify it.

    If you look at where UVA actually runs surpluses, it appears likely to me that a large part of this fund came from the medical center, and the primary source of funds there is patient fees. (The only other school that runs similar surpluses is VCU, which also has a hospital.) No one at UVA wanted to offer that, and no one in the GA thought or wanted to ask it. It was just conveniently talked around. Only a guise of transparency. After all the talk, we never got to the bottom of it.

    The reason I keep going to improving transparency in Virginia higher education is because it is one thing the state could do something about. Loan policy is primarily Federal. Competition and the drive for prestige likewise largely out of state control unless the state essentially tries to shackle its schools.

  7. re: Why UVA deserves being held to a different standard. Agree with LarryG, “the continuing focus on UVA makes no sense. . . . . UVA is not the worst offender by a long shot – yet it’s being held to a different standard. Higher Ed is a business. They’ll charge whatever the market will support and use the profits to make themselves bigger and stronger as a competitor to other institutions.”

    That “runaway cost of attendance at Virgina colleges” is a generic issue, as Reed keeps reminding us. Other schools in Virginia are getting into “runaway” territory too. Not just W&M or VT — around NoVa, George Mason and JMU are very much in demand in particular areas, like GMU Law, so those markets will readily support increases. Whether those increases result in “profits to make themselves bigger and stronger” may be debatable but it sure is the perception. And the lack of transparency — the opaque assortment of tuition, athletic fees, student fees, parking fees, books, meals, dorm fees, library fees, health insurance charges — without clear allocations visible to students; or income from bookstores, hospitals, cafeterias, patents and other research assets, speaker and consulting fees, investments — without specific allocations of proceeds: who can unravel all this even if the intentions are all noble? We look forward to your delving into this particular muck.

  8. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    As regards UVA’s taking of $2.3 Billion for its Strategic Investment Fund,


    As regards the annual taking by US Universities of $Tens of Billions of parents’ and students’ Tuition and fees and State taxpayer dollars to FUND THE RESEARCH OF COLLEGE PROFESSORS,

    PLEASE recall John Adams admonition to Thomas Jefferson:

    “Your aristocracy are the most difficult animals to manage, of anything in the whole Theory and practice of Government. They will not suffer themselves to be governed. They will not only exert all their own subtlety, industry and courage, but they employ the Commonality, to knock to pieces every Plan and Model that the most honest Architects in Legislation can invent to key them in bounds.” John Adam’s Republic, the One, the Few, the Many, by Richard Alan Ryerson.

    More than 200 years since John Adams warning against rule by the few over the many, we have a cabal of vested interests – University Administrators, Crony Capitalists Professors, Corrupted and/or weak Government officials, and prostituted experts – high priced Lawyers and Accountants – all of them being John Adams modern Day Aristocracy are cooking the books to take $billions away from students, parents and taxpayers under false pretenses.

    How is this legal. Well, its clever, yet simple and it works.

    Every dollar, down to ever penny. is accounted for. But the vast amount of numbers and vast amount of words that purport to describe those numbers are arranged and twisted to hide from the public what is really going on.

    So Professors Research become “student instruction.” Fees for medical services becomes “fees for educational services”. And money is in practical affect laundered by its transferal into temporary “Health plan Reserves, Current Funds Investments, Internal Banks, Renewal programs, and similar non-nondescript verbiage of intentionally vague and misleading words loaded down with so many variant interpretations that they intentionally say nothing informative as so to legally cover the asses of the evil doers. Hence vast sums other peoples’ (students, parents, taxpayers) money is spent on huge outlays by Universities for their highly speculative research ventures and their annually recurrent, heavy, and growing, research loses.

    How many ways can universities lose, waste and/or toss away students, parents, and taxpayer money on professors research? Answer: To many to count. But the original corruption of this money gotten under pretenses begets only more corruption as university professors compound the original sin by false claims of past results or future opportunities in their arms races with other professors and institutions for ever more grants to line their pockets and feed the machine they’ve built and must continually grow just to keep alive. Indeed, recently, one study claimed that only 11% of recent all such research claims could be replicated. To often in the game of research success must be claim to keep one’s seat at the table. So corruption feeds corruption and the loses mount until the game collapses.

    But the damage goes far beyond bonus and useless research. It is poisoning the education of our college and university students.

    It’s been said that only 20% of professors time is spent teaching today.

    I believe that 20% number is likely significantly less. And, surely its falling every year, particularly in undergraduate education whose tuition must rise every year to cover the mounting loses and otherwise reimbursed cost incurred in ever more research deemed necessary to keep this Ponzi scheme going. And the flip side is that every year more and more resources are diverted from teaching students to paying for professors research that the institutions falsely claim on their books to be costs of instruction.

    This has been going on for years at an ever increasing pace.

    I personally believe that these trends, forces, and ambitions are why Teresa Sullivan in her May, 2012 memo to the UVa. Rector, recommended that:

    “… Fifth, curricular issues in undergraduate education need to be addressed. Although this is a traditional responsibility of the faculty, I believe that administrative leadership can be helpful. We currently lavish many resources on first-year and second-year courses, even though increasingly our students come to us having already completed substantial portions of the traditional lower-division curriculum. We have many competitors for the lower division (AP, dual enrollment with community colleges, IB, transfer credits), but essentially none for the upper division. We have a great opportunity here to reallocate scarce faculty resources toward the third and fourth year courses where there are no substitutes for their expertise.
    For those courses that we do deliver in the lower division, we should consider much more fundamental redesign toward hybrid courses and problem-based approaches. In particular, careful attention to the entry courses in the sciences and engineering might well yield higher retention in those courses and greater numbers of graduates in those fields, without further enlarging the size of the student body. Promulgating vertical research teams (faculty-postdoctoral fellows-graduate students-undergraduate students) offers us a way to leverage the richness of a research university for undergraduates, while also providing a richer environment for the scientists and engineers we seek to retain.

    Analysis of our curriculum should also concentrate on the negative space: the areas we should be emphasizing. Computational science is one such area, and draws on the expertise of faculty from many areas in recognizing that the twenty-first century enjoys unprecedented quantities of data, but has underdeveloped methods for transforming data into information. Previous strategic plans have identified science, engineering, international programs, and the arts as areas in need of further development, but it is probably more effective for us to sharpen our focus within these broad areas and to emphasize areas in which we might do hiring in multiple departments / schools (again offsetting the scale disadvantage). Computation represents one such area, but there are surely others.”

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