Feb 28, 2011

UVa Board of Visitors Approves Higher Tuition for McIntire School of Commerce

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors (BOV) has approved a plan to charge extra tuition for specific undergraduate majors. Beginning this fall, students enrolled in the McIntire School of Commerce will see an extra $3000 tacked onto their bills.

The move, approved Friday, is designed to offset the high cost of operating a “top-ranked” program. Undergrads apply to the program and then if accepted, spend their third and fourth years in the school.

The plan to charge a tuition “differential” to McIntire students is a matter of “fairness,” said UVa president Teresa Sullivan. Commerce education is expensive and the additional funds are needed to recruit top faculty and staff from the business world.

“It seems the right thing to do for students who benefit from this to pay for it,” she said.

The $3000 fee will apply to both in-state and out-of-state students and is projected to bring in about $1 million in much-needed revenues for the school. Current third-year students, however, will not be charged the additional tuition as they enter their fourth year in the fall of 2011.

Officials noted that the change in cost was considered ahead of the regular tuition discussion so that students thinking about applying to the McIntire School would be aware of the fee.

For now, the new fee structure is characterized as a “pilot” program that will be reviewed after a year. During the board discussion, Sullivan acknowledged that other schools within the University will be watching the McIntire experiment, noting that the School of Engineering and Applied Science may be the only major engineering school in the country that does not impose additional tuition or laboratory fees.

University Rector John O. Wynne also pointed out to the BOV that Virginia Tech has charged differential tuition “for years.”

Looking for other sources of revenue, the Board of Visitors voted to increase overall enrollment by an additional 1,500 students in the next five years—provided the state comes through with additional funding to support the projected growth.

In 2004, the University agreed to add 1500 students by the 2014-15 academic year as part of a restructuring plan. The University still needs to add 273 students to meet that target.

The latest plans will increase the enrollment target by 1400 undergrads and 100 graduate students in the next five years.

By the 2018-19 academic year, the projected undergraduate and graduate enrollment would be 22,842, or about 1800 more students. The University plans to maintain the current ratio of about 70 percent in-state students and 30 percent out-of-state.

For those students looking forward to a possibility of becoming a Cavalier in the next few years, your odds have just increased. But plan to spend more money as it looks like UVa is looking creatively at ways to bring in more cash.

Tuition and fees for other programs beginning in the fall of 2011 will be set at a special board meeting in April.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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