Category Archives: Tuition, affordability, scholarships

Update: UVa Freezes Undergraduate Tuition One Year

Jim Ryan

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia is freezing undergraduate tuition in the next school year, but increases in student fees, room, and board will total about $392, or about a 1.1% increase in the cost of attendance in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The board had considered boosting tuition as much as 3.1% this year, based on the national cost of providing a college education plus 1%, reports the Daily Progress. While the Board held steady on tuition this year, UVa President Jim Ryan warned, that the respite likely would last only one year.

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Would Someone Enroll the UVa Board in These Courses, Please?

Laura Goldblatt

by James A. Bacon

Like most higher-ed critics, Bacon’s Rebellion conducts analysis of Virginia’s higher-ed institutions from a politically conservative perspective. Colleges and universities have mostly gotten a pass from commentators on the left wing of the political spectrum because, I would suggest, colleges and universities are almost all leftist-dominated institutions. But there are occasional exceptions.

One of those is a course taught by University of Virginia assistant professor Laura Goldblatt this spring, “The Marketplace of Ideas? Following the Money at the University of Virginia.” Her course description starts with an excellent question: “Why does student tuition for four-year, US colleges keep rising (at rates above inflation)? And where do all those tuition dollars go?” Continue reading

Demanding Openness about UVa’s Cost Structure

by James A. Bacon

Last week the University of Virginia Board of Visitors held a workshop to discuss next year’s increase in tuition, fees, and other charges and to hear input from the public — mostly students begging the board for relief from the ever-escalating cost of attendance.

PowerPoint presentation released at the meeting essentially made the case for hiking tuition again, although the exact percentage will depend upon the level of financial support provided by the Commonwealth. The estimated increase for undergraduate, in-state tuition will range between 0% and 3.1%. Additional fees are set at $114.

The presentation reflects the Ryan administration’s spin on the numbers. It’s the job of the Board of Visitors to probe deeper. In this post, I will first summarize the administration’s stats, and then I will provide some numbers that the board should consider as it ponders the tuition increases. Continue reading

UVA Board Ponders 3.1% Hike in Tuition & Fees

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors is considering raising in-state undergraduate tuition up to 3.1% next year and hiking student fees by $114. The increases potentially would add $554 to tuition and fees next year, bringing the total to $17,860, reports the Daily Progress. Including room, board, books and other expenses, the total cost of attendance would reach $34,600 for students not benefiting from financial aid. Out-of-state students would pay $70,200 all told.

Rector James B. Murray cited the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. “2020 has been a tough year for everybody, for the students, parents and the administration. It’s been a financially troubling year and psychologically troubling year. We have lost a lot of revenue. We don’t have housing revenue, dining revenue, athletics, or student and public services. … The board is committed to keeping tuition increases at a minimum and using every other source of revenue whenever and where ever we can.”

Said Murray: “Tuition is always the last lever that we pull.” Continue reading

UVa Builds Scholarship Endowment to Half-Billion Dollars

Jim Ryan

by James A. Bacon

Over the past four years the University of Virginia has raised $500 million, enough to endow 350 undergraduate and graduate scholarships, President Jim Ryan informed the Board of Visitors Friday. He highlighted two programs in particular that share the goal of “fostering excellence and diversity of the student population, and ensuring their success.”

The University Achievement Awards, inaugurated during the presidency of John T. Casteen are given to Virginia students who demonstrate outstanding leadership and character while overcoming personal hardship. The Blue Ridge Scholars program, launched in 2014 with a $4 million gift from alumnus John Griffin, supports undergraduate students with exceptional academic promise and significant financial need.

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An Intellectual-Diversity Agenda for UVa

Photo credit: Washington Post

by James A. Bacon

The University of Virginia’s insurgent alumni have made it very clear what they’re against. They don’t like profane signs on the Lawn that disrespect the University. They oppose contextualizing the Thomas Jefferson statue. They’re unhappy with the endless self-flagellation for the institution’s association with slavery and segregation, as if nothing has changed in the past 55 years. I’m one of them. I share the same concerns.

But what are we for? If we can’t articulate a positive agenda for Mr. Jefferson’s University in the 21st century, people will think us like those cranky old men with pants hiked up to their chests who shake their fists and yell, “Get off my lawn!” or at worst, a bunch of old, white, Southern racists who can’t accommodate themselves to the younger generation’s thirst for social justice.

Those of us who are unhappy with UVa need to start talking about what new direction we’d like to see it take. I have some preliminary thoughts.

First, UVa should strive to be the best public university in the country, not a Southern Ivy. Continue reading