Apr 19, 2013

UVa increases Tuition—Engineers and Business Students take the Biggest Hit

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted yesterday to increase tuition across the board and substantially raise “tuition differentials” for students attending the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and the McIntire School of Commerce.

With Rector Helen E. Dragas and Dr. Edward D. Miller casting dissenting votes, the board approved a tuition and fee schedule that increases tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergrads by 3.8 percent, or $452 annually, to $12,458.  Out-of-state student tuition and fees will increase by 4.8 percent, or $1,826, to 39,844.

Including more expensive meal plans and higher housing rates, the total cost of an education at Virginia is estimated be a little over $26,000 per year for an in-state student—an increase of 2.9 percent.  The projected total cost for an out-of-state student will go up by 4.3 percent to almost $54,000 per year.

But the real increases in the cost of an education at the state’s flagship institution may be found in fees tacked onto its most popular programs.

In addition to raising basic rates, the board also approved a continuation of the McIntire School of Commerce “tuition differential." A highly successful revenue source, the plan calls for all third- and fourth-year students to pay an annual $5,000 up-charge to cover extra expenses incurred by students at the highly regarded business school.  The additional charge will bring total tuition to $17,458 for Virginians and 44,844 for out-of-state students—$10,000 over the course of two years.
Tuition for SEAS students will be increased by $2,000 per year, in addition to the base price increase, and will be phased in over four years.  In 2013-14, first year state residents will pay $14,452 in tuition and fees and out-of-state students will pay $41,844.  Eventually, it will cost an additional $8,000 to graduate with an engineering diploma.

UVa isn’t the only state institution seeking additional revenue through tuition differentials.  According to Bloomberg Businessweek, William & Mary’s Mason School of Business plans to start charging undergraduate business majors a $1,500-per-semester surcharge.  The extra charge will be phased in over two years, with new business majors in 2013-14 paying an additional $750 per semester and those entering the major in subsequent years paying the full $1,500.  In addition, students enrolled as business “minors” will pay $375 per semester starting in 2013-14 and $750 thereafter. 

Virginia Tech began charging engineering students an additional fee in 2007. The amount charged to each student is based on the number of engineering courses taken during the academic year and can be as low as $270 for freshmen and up to $720 for seniors.

According to Businessweek, the rationale for these tuition policies is that “students enrolled in some majors cost more to educate or have higher lifetime earning potential.”

It’s equally true that demand for business and engineering degrees is not likely to be too driven b price.  And so colleges in need of additional revenue are taking advantage of the basic law of supply and demand by increasing costs associated with these degrees.

Who says a college can’t be run like a business?

No comments:

Post a Comment