The University of Virginia administration has asked the Board of Visitors to consider tuition increases in the range of 3.0% and 4.4% over each of the next two years, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis revealed in a Finance Committee public hearing this morning.
Davis cited inflation, declining state support, and the need to keep salaries competitive as justifications for the proposed increase. The full board will address the proposal in its regularly scheduled meeting next month. She also noted that tuition increases have moderated in recent years.
The hearing, required by state law, gave students the opportunity to provide input on tuition increases. Only one submitted a comment.
Nate Wells, a third-year, in-state student in the Batten School, told how his older brother enrolled at Ohio State University as an out-of-state student for less than it costs at UVa. “Around grounds we hear how UVa stacks up against peer institutions. … UVa is incredibly expensive, the third highest public university in the country.” He urged the Board of Visitors to keep the increase on hte low side of the range.
Earlier this month the Jefferson Council released its analysis of tuition and cost trends. Among the top-line findings: Only one-third of the tuition increase between 2002 and 2022 can be attributed to a cutback in state support. Higher spending — inflation-adjusted spending per pupil increased 50% over that time — accounted for the rest.
Davis alluded to an “efficiency and effectiveness” study underway, the results of which the university will share in the December board meeting. The administration has given no clue about the study’s focus, or whether it is tackling core cost issues such as mission creep, administrative bloat, or faculty productivity.