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Board of Visitors implements second year of W&M Promise

Virginia students continue to benefit from four-year tuition guarantee

The Board of Visitors approved a budget Friday that implements the second year of the William & Mary Promise, an operating model adopted last year that includes a guaranteed tuition plan for entering in-state freshmen.

Current in-state freshmen who arrived last fall -- the first incoming class under the four-year guaranteed plan -- will see a zero increase in their tuition rate next year. Their tuition will continue to be $10,428 per year. As part of the Promise adopted a year ago on April 19, 2013, the Board established guaranteed in-state tuition rates for undergraduate classes arriving in fall 2013, fall 2014 and fall 2015. The tuition rates for each class will remain constant through all four years of undergraduate study.

“An important part of the William & Mary Promise adopted last year was looking forward three years and establishing tuition rates for entering in-state students through the fall 2015 – and committing to guarantee those rates for all four years,” said Rector Todd Stottlemyer. “This budget moves forward the second year of that plan.”

In-state freshmen arriving in fall 2014 will pay $12,428 in tuition. That rate will not increase over the next four years.  The budget approved Friday also continues the university’s commitment to increasing need-based financial aid for in-state students.

“This budget moves forward the second year of the W&M Promise adopted a year ago,” said Sam Jones, vice president for finance. “It continues our effort to make William & Mary more accessible to low- and middle-income families from Virginia, and it continues our pledge of increasing predictability for families across the Commonwealth.”

In-state undergraduates who arrived prior to the fall of 2013 – and prior to the W&M Promise guarantee -- will see a 2.4 percent increase in tuition to $9,046, Jones said. That increase reflects the anticipated rate of inflation.  Out-of-state undergraduates will see a 4 percent increase in tuition in 2014-15 to $34,132.

In April 2013, the Board of Visitors adopted the W&M Promise, a comprehensive and campus-wide approach to sustaining the university’s long-term financial health. In addition to the increased predictability through tuition guarantees for incoming Virginians, key pieces of the operating model include increased financial aid and affordability for middle-income Virginia families; more seats for Virginia undergraduates; productivity gains through innovation and greater efficiency of campus operations; and additional earned revenue to recruit and retain superb faculty.

President Taylor Reveley said the Promise provides a roadmap for a sustainable financial foundation for William & Mary. That roadmap, he added, hinges on all members of the W&M community doing their own share. Students and parents are asked to pay tuition to help cover what it costs to provide a William & Mary education. Faculty and staff are asked to pursue productivity gains on campus to help sustain the university financially. Alumni and friends are asked to help support William & Mary through philanthropic support.

“It has become clear that William & Mary cannot depend only on the state to provide the great bulk of the funds needed to sustain William & Mary as a great liberal arts university, powerfully committed to both teaching and research,” Reveley said. “Through the W&M Promise, we are all asked to do our  share – to pull our own oar – to help ensure for William & Mary a future worthy of its past.”

According to the budget approved Friday, highlights include:

  • More than $2.5 million in additional need-based financial aid for undergraduates and graduate students. Through the new financial aid provided under the Promise, W&M is able to lower the average annual borrowing and four-year cumulative debt average for Virginia undergraduates with demonstrated need as determined by the financial aid office. 
  • $800,000 to support enrollment growth. As part of the W&M Promise, the university committed to increase overall in-state undergraduate enrollment by 150 students, phased in over a four-year period. This is in addition to the 150 in-state slots William & Mary has been phasing in since 2010. By 2017, W&M will have added an additional 300 spots for Virginia students, an increase of about 8 percent since 2010.
  • A salary pool for merit-based increases for faculty and staff. Jones said average increases will depend on what action the state ultimately takes on salaries for employees.
  • Nearly $2.9 million will be used for mandatory state increases in fringe benefits such as retirement and health insurance. The Virginia Retirement System increased the employer match from 8.76 percent to 12.33 percent for all employees.
  • $1 million in funds reallocated from other areas of the university’s budget because of efficiency savings generated by improvements to business operations such as improved print/copying contracts and streamlined IT functions.