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William & Mary to increase in-state tuition and fees by 3.3 percent

In-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at the College of William & Mary will increase by $438, or 3.3 percent for the 2012-13 academic year, according to the budget adopted Friday by the Board of Visitors. It is the lowest percentage increase for Virginia undergraduates at William & Mary in more than a decade. Out-of-state tuition and fees will increase by $1,382, or 3.8 percent – the lowest increase for undergraduates from outside Virginia in seven years.

The budget includes an additional $1.4 million from all sources in need-based undergraduate financial aid. The total cost in 2012-13 for William & Mary in-state undergraduates – including tuition, fees, room and board – will be $22,888, a 3.9 percent increase. The total cost next year for out-of-state students will be $46,662, a 4.0 percent increase.

“Students and their families choose William & Mary because of the extraordinary educational experience we are able to provide, said Jeffrey B. Trammell, Rector of the College. “The budget approved today by the Board recognizes a commitment to maintaining that academic excellence. It also devotes significant dollars to need-based financial aid to keep the College affordable and accessible. With these factors in mind, the College and the Board remain committed to the six-year plan, which undergirds William & Mary’s exceptional and traditional academic mission.”

In his presentation to the Board, Vice President for Finance Sam Jones said the budget addresses priorities within the College’s six-year plan and acknowledges William & Mary’s institution -wide efforts to become more cost efficient. For example, it includes $2.6 million in reallocations that will allow the College to shift current funds to higher priorities, including pay increases for faculty and staff. It also considers new funds as well as additional costs that are part of the recently passed state budget, Jones said. The Commonwealth’s budget, in the process of being reviewed by Governor Robert McDonnell, includes $1.2 million for William & Mary in new funds to help support ongoing operating costs, Jones said. There are offsetting costs, however, imposed on the College by the state budget, he added. This includes a loss of $339,000 in state support for the Eminent Scholars Program and additional costs of about $1.3 million to the university’s obligatory contributions to the Virginia Retirement System and state benefits system. The College must also raise approximately $2.4 million from current funds to pay 70 percent of a proposed 3-percent bonus for state employees. The bonus, which would be implemented in the fall, would be authorized if the state meets certain revenue goals by June 30, 2012.

“We very much appreciate the actions by the General Assembly and the fact that the Governor made funding higher education a priority this year,” Jones said. “This renewed investment, coupled with our own innovation and reallocation efforts, has allowed us to limit the growth in tuition and fees. That being considered, there are additional costs we must address through new revenue in order to maintain base funding and make sure we continue to provide  the outstanding academic experience our students, families and community expect from William & Mary.”

In a message to the community on Friday, President Taylor Reveley said William & Mary remains focused on long-term planning and how best to build a sustainable financial foundation for the university. While the budget approved by Friday allows the College to make progress in implementing its six-year plan, Reveley said, there is much more work to do. Going forward, he added, this effort will continue to rely more heavily on the College helping itself. State support for the College’s operating budget will be less than 13 percent next year.

“A solid financial foundation for William & Mary ultimately hinges on our own efforts,” Reveley said.

Revely said the university remains focused on four core areas in building a solid financial foundation: 1) William & Mary’s capacity to keep delivering extraordinary teaching and research excellence, 2) the ability “to be simultaneously excellent and cost-effective,” 3) continuing to build lifelong ties with William & Mary alumni and grow philanthropy to “Private Ivy” levels, and 4) the capacity to generate more earned income based on the College’s strength in the market for applicants and its standing among national universities.

“We will continue to do our level best to ensure the academic excellence of this venerable university and get the highest possible return from the resources entrusted to us,” Reveley said.

According to the 2012-13 budget adopted Friday, tuition and fees 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 $442 to $11,404; law will increase $1,600 to $27,800; and business will increase $2,150 to $29,350.

Tuition and fees for out-of-state graduate students will increase as follows: graduate arts and sciences, education and marine science will increase $958 to $25,790; law will increase $1,600 to $37,800; and business will increase $1,500 to $39,750.