Tuition for Virginia undergraduates to increase $541 at W&M

(Williamsburg, VA) – In-state undergraduate tuition at the College of William and Mary will increase by $541 to $6,090 for the 2008-09 academic year, according to the budget adopted Saturday by the William and Mary Board of Visitors.

The total cost for in-state undergraduates – including tuition, fees, room and board -- will increase next year by 8.7 percent to a total of $18,276. The revenue generated from tuition increases will go toward three main areas – increasing faculty and staff salaries, increasing student financial aid and funding operating expenses associated with new facilities coming on line, officials said.

"When we engaged next year's budget -- and reached the reluctant conclusion that tuition increases are essential – our priorities were to improve salaries, increase need-based aid for our undergraduates and find enough funds to heat and cool our new buildings," said Interim President W. Taylor Reveley III. "We'll devote more than 85 percent of new dollars to these areas, including committing $1 million toward additional student financial aid and supplementing the state salary increases a bit to help recruit and retain professors of the academic excellence so crucial to the College's future."

The operating budget approved by the Board's executive committee includes a 3-percent raise for all faculty and staff – a 1-percent increase in the 2-percent raise adopted by the Virginia General Assembly, said Sam Jones, vice president for finance at the College. Jones said the salary increases for faculty will allow William and Mary to remain in the 52nd percentile of its peer institutions for the upcoming year – the state goal is to have average faculty salaries reach the 60th percentile of peer institutions.

"In terms of faculty salaries at our peer institutions, we're not making up any ground but this budget allows us to at least maintain our current status," Jones said.

Jones said the tuition increases also help fund the operating and maintenance expenses of new facilities, such as the Integrated Science Center, that come on-line this year. It also factors in the escalating costs of utilities, he said. However, Jones added, the tuition revenue is not going toward filling in the gap from the $2.7 million reduction in state support to the College's base budget. The reductions were achieved by specific budget reduction actions such as restructuring some administrative offices and functions, leaving vacant up to four faculty positions, and savings from debt service that came off-line, he said.

"This has been a challenging budget year but we knew we simply could not ignore areas such as student financial aid, faculty and staff salaries, or support for the academic programs and buildings that come with providing the special academic experience that this College offers," Jones said. "This operating budget is an investment into William and Mary's future and realizes that despite our efforts the cost of education has gone up."

As part of the College's commitment to sustainability, the Board approved a $30 annual green fee included in the budget. The fee will raise about $200,000 per year toward initiatives to improve environmental sustainability on campus. The measure was first initiated by a student environmental group and overwhelmingly supported in the spring through a student referendum. The fee will be administered by a committee of students, faculty and staff and distributed each year into three funding initiatives -- $145,000 for facility improvements, $15,000 for student research grants and $40,000 toward a "Green Endowment."

According to the 2008-09 budget adopted Saturday, out-of-state undergraduates will pay a total of $37, 356, an 8-percent, or $2,767 increase. Tuition for out-of-state undergraduates will be $24,960.

Tuition and fees in 2008-09 for in-state students in the College's graduate and professional programs are as follows: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science, $10,260, up from $9,800; law, $20,146, up from $18, 336; and business, $21,000, up from $18,124.
Tuition and fees for out-of-state graduate students are: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science, $23,790, up from $23,014; law, $30,346, up from $28,536; and business, $33,000, up from $31, 924.

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