Wednesday, November 29, 2023

William & Mary votes to freeze tuition for incoming fall students

The Sir Christopher Wren Building sits at the head of the W&M campus, just before you cross into Colonial Wililamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy of William & Mary)
The Sir Christopher Wren Building sits at the head of the W&M campus, just before you cross into Colonial Wililamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy of William & Mary)

Incoming in-state freshmen at William & Mary will no longer see a tuition increase in the fall.

The William & Mary Board of Visitors on Tuesday unanimously voted to rescind a previously adopted tuition increase for incoming in-state freshmen, according to a news release from the college. The board also voted to keep mandatory fees flat for all in- and out-of state undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The college originally created a six-year plan in September that included a 3 percent increase for new in-state undergraduates coming in the fall of 2020. The plan detailed the potential for up to 3 percent increases in tuition each year.

But because of the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on students and families, the college has reversed that decision and approved a zero increase for tuition.

“COVID-19 has negatively impacted the education, finances and well-being of our students and families,” said Rector John Littel, in the news release. “The university has worked tirelessly to ensure that the pandemic causes as little disruption to learning as possible, but it is also important to look for ways to lessen the financial burden many are facing and remove some uncertainty for families.”

Despite the limitations on tuition increase, the resolution passed on Tuesday also includes a potential for a 2.9 percent increase in the average room rate and up to a 3 percent increase in the meal plan rate for fiscal year 2021.

For both in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students, that means an increase of $380 for room and board, according to data from the college.

According to the resolution, the new rates are set to reflect the expected maximum averages pending final evaluation of the university’s housing and meal plan for the coming year.

The board will revisit future tuition recommendations for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

The new resolution is part of the W&M’s approach for planning ahead during the pandemic. It has also instituted a hiring freeze and limited employee purchases. 

William & Mary President Katherine Rowe announced last week the formation of a multidisciplinary planning team to explore various impacts related to the pandemic over the next 18 months.

W&M has committed to holding in-person classes in the fall if it is safe to do so. Officials will announce their plans for the fall semester in June.


Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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