Board of Visitors approves tuition and budget for 2010-11

In-state undergraduate tuition and fees at the College of William & Mary will increase by $1,088, or 9.8 percent for the 2010-11 academic year, according to the budget adopted Saturday by the Board of Visitors. The total cost for in-state undergraduates - including tuition, fees, room and board -- will increase next year by 6.5 percent to a total of $20,872.

In a message to the campus community, President Taylor Reveley said the College continues to respond to the current economic downturn while protecting and enhancing the quality of a William & Mary education. Students and their families, he said, select William & Mary because of the academic experience it provides.

"The challenge before us is how to sustain this exceptional educational opportunity - and how to enable the university to remain a leader among liberal arts universities - even as taxpayer support for higher education declines," Reveley said.

The tuition increase follows a trend over the past two years that has seen William & Mary base state funding reduced by 32 percent, or $16.7 million.

In 1980, the Commonwealth provided nearly 43 percent of the College's operating budget. That figure is now less than 14 percent and it is expected to drop to 12.5 percent in 2012 when one-time federal stimulus dollars are not available.

In response to the drop in public funding, Reveley said, William & Mary has taken a number of actions to reduce costs, including eliminating positions, restricting hiring and freezing salaries since November 2007.

"While painful, these actions, when combined with a one-time allocation of federal stimulus dollars, have enabled us to keep providing the extraordinary academic experience that our students and their families expect," Reveley said. "Earlier today, the Board of Visitors took actions that will maintain a balanced operating budget for William & Mary in Fiscal Year 2011 (beginning July 1, 2010), protect current programs and permit a few small steps forward."

Revenue generated from tuition increases will total $7.8 million and go toward several pressing needs, including a significant increase student financial aid, said Sam Jones, vice president for finance. The College will increase financial aid by 24 percent, or $2.75 million, Jones said.

"Making sure that William & Mary is accessible to all those who qualify remains a top priority," said Jones, adding that student financial aid at W&M has increased by 81 percent since 2007-08. "This budget will make another significant investment in need-based aid for our students."

Jones also said there are several additional expenses that are unavoidable in next year's budget. He explained that the state no longer provides support for operating costs of new facilities. The College will open a new School of Education building, the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center and an expansion to the Small Hall physics building. Additional operating costs, combined with increases in utility bills, will total nearly $1.8 million, Jones said. "The College is responsible for 100 percent of those new costs," he said.

The state is also requiring all public universities to create a salary reserve fund that will go toward possible bonuses for employees. The state has frozen salaries the past three years. If revenues improve, the Commonwealth is expected to provide 35 percent of a three-percent bonus for employees. The College will be required to pay the remaining 65 percent, or $2 million, Jones said.

The remaining revenue will address increases in health insurance and critical staffing needs in emergency management, finance, development, information technology and the soon-to-be finished career center, officials said.

According to the 2010-11 budget adopted Saturday, out-of-state undergraduates will pay a total (including room and board) of $42,448, a 6.7-percent, or $2,682 increase. Tuition and fees (alone) for out-of-state undergraduates will increase $2,500 to $33,764.
Tuition and fees in 2010-11 for in-state students in the College's graduate and professional programs are as follows: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science will increase $254 to $10,768; law will increase $1,854 to $23,800; and business will increase $2,200 to $25,000.

Tuition and fees for out-of-state graduate students will increase as follows: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science will increase $434 to $24,638; law will increase $1,654 to $33,800; and business will increase $1,700 to $36,500.