Tuesday, August 16, 2022

W&M undergraduates to see zero increase in tuition

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Jim Agnew/William & Mary)

WILLIAMSBURG — The William & Mary (W&M) Board of Visitors voted to hold undergraduate tuition flat for the coming year during a May 19 meeting of its Executive Committee, the fifth straight year with no increase for in-state undergraduate students.

“The General Assembly is still working to finalize the state budget, yet we know it is important for our students and their families, as well as for our own programs, to have clarity on tuition now so they may better plan,” said Rector John E. Littel on the W&M news website. “William & Mary is holding tuition flat again this year despite significant financial challenges and critical needs. We understand the strain our students and their families are going through.”

William & Mary said it had projected a tuition increase of 4.6% for fiscal year 2023 according to its six-year plan. It based its decision not to increase tuition on a variety of economic factors including expected increases in state funding economic impacts of the pandemic and rising inflation. The Board also authorized spending adjustments as necessary to balance the budget without a tuition increase.

“As we seek to balance the budget, we always think first about supporting our people,” President Katherine A. Rowe said. “Providing a thriving and competitive workplace and advancing our mission remain critical goals moving forward. At the same time, with today’s economic challenges we understand the importance of limiting the financial impact for families. Re-engagement in higher education funding by the state in recent years has proved invaluable during pandemic. We look forward to continued partnership.”

William & Mary noted it included an investment in additional financial aid, which it has consistently done since fiscal year 2013.

“William & Mary’s commitments to access and affordability remain a priority,” said Amy Sebring, chief operating officer. “With that focus we have been able to reduce the average undergraduate student debt by 10% over the last three years.”

William & Mary also authorized a compensation pool for merit increases for salaried, university employees. It emphasized this is dependent on state action. In prior years, the General Assembly has provided a “state share” and the university has covered the rest through tuition and fee revenue. An expected minimum wage increase to $15.50 was also taken into account. Final details will be determined once the fiscal year 2023 budget is finalized.

The budget actions include a 2.5% increase in fees for all students, and a 2.5% room increase for residential students, but W&M notes dining fees will remain unchanged due to the utilization of reserves generated in fiscal 2022.

In addition to all in-state and out-of-state undergraduates, most graduate programs will also see no increase in tuition, the university said. In February, the Board approved a market adjustment in William & Mary Law School tuition.

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