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W&M approves budget for 2011-12 academic year

BOV Takes Action to Close Gap of $6.9 million in lost Federal Stimulus
Total Cost for In-State Undergrads to Increase by 5.5 percent; Total Cost for Out-of-State Undergrads to Increase 5.7 percent

The total cost for William & Mary in-state undergraduates – including tuition, fees, room and board – will increase 5.5 percent for the 2011-12 academic year, according to the budget adopted Friday by the Board of Visitors. The total cost for in-state undergraduates will be $22,024. The total cost for out-of-state undergraduates will increase 5.7 percent in 2011-12 to $44,854.

“The budget adopted by the Board of Visitors today, including increases in tuition and fees, reflects the need to close the gap created by recent budget cuts by the Commonwealth and the elimination of federal stimulus funds,” said Rector Henry C. Wolf. “In order to meet the challenge of reduced public funding, the College must rely on: 1) increased revenues from tuition and fees; 2) enhanced philanthropic support; and 3) improved innovation and efficiency. Our budget for the 2011-12 academic year is designed to protect the quality of William & Mary’s extraordinary academic program.”

The budget includes an additional $1.8 million in financial aid for 2012 following the College’s policy of providing a commensurate increase in aid whenever tuition is increased.  From 2008-2010, the College increased its financial aid by $9.1 million, or 117 percent, said Vice President for Finance Sam Jones.

“Providing additional need-based assistance remains our top priority with any increase in tuition,” Jones said. “This budget represents another significant investment in financial aid.”

In a message to the campus community, President Taylor Reveley noted that the budget actions were taken in the context of the financial cliff the College faces in fiscal year 2012 due to the long-term decline in state funding combined with the expiration of $6.9 million in federal stimulus funds. The president credited Virginia’s elected leaders with enacting legislation this year to help reverse that trend. For example, for the first time since 2007 there were no new cuts in state funding and the state provided William & Mary about $900,000 in additional funds for critical priorities in financial aid, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and support for enrollment growth.

However, he added, the College must still deal with the impacts of the five separate cuts over the past three years that have reduced its base state funding by 33 percent, or $17.1 million since April 2008. Since 1980, the Commonwealth’s support of William & Mary’s operating budget has declined from 43 percent to less than 13 percent for fiscal year 2012. During that same time, philanthropy has become an increasingly important contributor and will account for 10 percent of the university’s operating funds in 2011-12.

“As William & Mary comes to depend more and more on the private side of the public/private partnership that now funds the College’s operations,  the families benefitting from what the College provides are being asked increasingly to help shoulder the costs of one of the very best undergraduate educations in the country,” Reveley said. “William & Mary, for its part, will seek to raise additional private funds to expand support for financial aid for both need-based and merit-based programs. We will intensify our efforts to build a powerful philanthropic base for William & Mary, and we will work assiduously on the campus’s cost-effectiveness.”

In response to the drop in public funding, William & Mary has taken a number of actions to reduce costs and become even more efficient. From 2008 to 2010, W&M has reduced baseline, continuing expenses at the main campus by more than $8 million and more than $6 million at its Virginian Institute of Marine Science. Jones said this year’s budget includes another $1 million in cuts yet to be allocated. 

Reveley said that last fall the College launched a major review of various business and academic processes to encourage innovation and even greater efficiency.  The results of the review and lists of the projects to be pursued have been posted to a website.

“No matter how innovative and productive we become, William & Mary’s academic model, which hinges on intense engagement between faculty and students of compelling ability, will require substantial resources,” Reveley said.  “This is the model for very few universities in the country, and it explains why our undergraduate program is so academically effective.”

 According to the 2011-12 budget adopted Friday, the 5.5 percent increase in total cost for in-state undergraduates represents an increase of $1,152 to $22,024. Tuition and fees (alone) will increase by 7.7 percent, or $944 to $13,132. Out-of-state undergraduates will pay a total (including room and board) of $44,854, which represents a $2,406 increase. Tuition and fees (alone) for out-of-state undergraduates will increase by 6.5 percent, or $2,198, to $35,962.

Tuition and fees in 2011-12 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 $194 to $10,962; law will increase $2,400 to $26,200; and business will increase $2,200 to $27,200.

Tuition and fees for out-of-state graduate students will increase as follows: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science will increase $194 to $24,832; law will increase $2,400 to $36,200; and business will increase $1,750 to $38,250.