Friday, December 9, 2022

William & Mary to host public hearing on tuition increase ahead of vote

William & Mary will hold a public hearing on a proposed tuition increase Monday. (WYDaily/Courtesy W&M News)
William & Mary will hold a public hearing on a proposed tuition increase Monday. (WYDaily/Courtesy W&M News)

A tuition hike at William & Mary is up for a vote next month.

On Monday, the William & Mary Board of Visitors will have a public hearing on the proposed increase, which could raise tuition for some students between about $500 and $900 annually.

The hearing is scheduled for 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Chesapeake Room of the Sadler Center, 200 Stadium Drive. Members of the public can also give feedback on the proposed tuition range through an online form.

The Board of Visitors will vote on the proposed changes at its Nov. 16 meeting.

If approved, the increase — ranging from 3 percent to 5.4 percent total for four years — would only impact incoming in-state undergraduate students, William & Mary spokesman Brian Whitson said.

The current tuition rate for in-state undergraduate students in the class of 2018-2019 is $17,434. It would rise to $17,957 with a 3 percent increase, and $18,375 with a 5.4 percent increase.

Students may not pay the full “sticker price,” however, Whitson said. Depending on the student’s level of need, they may receive financial aid to help cover tuition.

In April, the Board of Visitors will vote on tuition for other student groups, including out-of-state undergraduates, graduates and professionals. That vote will also determine mandatory fees for all students.

A promise

While the increase, if approved, would raise tuition for incoming and future William & Mary students, the William & Mary Promise guarantees in-state undergraduates will not see another tuition hike while they are enrolled.

The William & Mary Promise was adopted by the Board of Visitors in 2013 and guarantees stable tuition for all current and returning undergraduate in-state students.

Each year, the Board of Visitors presents a 6-year plan to the state, which includes projected tuition and fee increases.

After presenting this year’s 6-year plan to the state in July, the Board of Visitors unanimously voted in September to make an amendment, effectively reducing the projected tuition and fee increase.

Whitson said the initial projected increase was 6.4 percent, compared to the now-proposed 3 to 5.4 percent.

“The administration recommended reducing the projected increase and the Board agreed after considering incremental state funding included in the most recent state budget,” Whitson said.

Yearly changes

Tuition for in-state undergraduate students has gone up each year since at least 2015, according to the William & Mary website.

Tuition for students enrolled for various school years is as follows:

  • 2015-2016 — $13,978
  • 2016-2017 — $15,674
  • 2017-2018 — $16,370
  • 2018-2019 — $17,434

A news release for Monday’s public hearing says revenue generated from this year’s tuition increase will “likely” be used for personnel costs, such as the university’s share of any state-mandated increases in salaries, fringe and health benefit changes, need-based financial aid and institutional initiatives.

The exact uses will be decided by budgetary actions from Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly during the 2019 budget session.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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