Dec 5, 2009

William and Mary Announces Surprise Mid-year Tuition Increase

Joining other public institutions strapped for cash, the College of William and Mary announced a highly unusual mid-year tuition increase for all undergraduate, graduate business, and law students. An additional $300 will be tacked on to bills for the spring semester to help offset the loss of $6.2 million in state funds for this fiscal year. The increase brings total tuition at William and Mary to $11,100, making it the most expensive public institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia for residents, when including room and board ($19,482).

In addition to the hike in tuition, college President Taylor Reveley announced in a letter to the entire William and Mary community that 18 jobs will be eliminated, 12 of which include layoffs to help balance the school budget. “Thirty years ago the Commonwealth of Virginia provided almost 43% of the College’s operating budget,” said President Reveley. “Today it provides less than 14%.”

In his letter, President Reveley conceded that the College increased the size of the incoming freshman class to “generate additional tuition revenue.” He remained silent, however, on the issue of possible increases in out-of-state or international students to provide even more income to make up for continuing losses in state revenues. In an earlier interview with the Virginia Informer he admitted that, “The more out-of-state students we have, the better we’re off financially.”

The announcement of the surprise tuition increase came on the heels of a 13 to 15 percent increase in binding early decision applications received by the College of William and Mary for the class of 2014. In view of President Reveley’s belief that “The financial outlook for 2010/11 looks even less promising than the situation this year,” future tuition increases could be inevitable for those students electing to lock in their college choice this early in the game.

The William and Mary announcement coincides with mid-year tuition adjustments at the University of Mary Washington and within the Virginia community college system. UMW increased tuition by $100 for the spring semester, while effective January 1, 2010, the cost per credit hour at Virginia’s community colleges will go up $7.30. This will add about $22 to the cost of a typical class next semester.

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