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Board extends W&M Promise and four-year tuition guarantee

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    W&M Promise:  Returning in-state undergraduates will see zero increase in tuition, according to the resolution.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Returning in-state students to see zero increase in tuition

William & Mary’s Board of Visitors voted unanimously on Friday to extend the university’s four-year tuition guarantee for in-state undergraduates and set tuition for new in-state undergraduate students arriving in fall of 2018. Returning in-state undergraduates will see zero increase in tuition, according to the resolution.

The William & Mary Promise, adopted in 2013, extends the tuition rate in-student students pay in their freshman years across their four years of undergraduate study. The Board sets tuition for arriving in-state freshmen and transfers in November so Virginia families know what tuition will be before the application deadline.

“The William & Mary Promise provides transparency and predictability for Virginia’s students and their families,” said Rector Todd Stottlemyer. “It also allows the university to devote significant financial aid resources to low- and middle-income families whose students exhibit great promise and ability.”

Consistent with William & Mary’s six-year plan that was submitted to the state earlier this year, the new tuition rate for in-state students entering in fall 2018 will be $17,434 and will extend through 2022. The tuition rate is 6.5 percent more than the class that entered in fall 2017. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors will see no increase in tuition.

William & Mary continues to invest more resources, year over year, toward financial aid. The university is also making progress on increasing socio-economic diversity on campus.

This fall, William & Mary saw a 21 percent increase in new Pell-eligible undergraduate students, both freshmen and transfers. Since 2013, the university has also seen a 21-percent increase in first-generation freshmen students. Earlier this year, William & Mary was included among the nation’s leading colleges and universities in terms of commitment to access and affordability for low- and middle-income students, according to the New York Times’ College Access Index, which considers Pell grant eligibility, graduation rates and net price. W&M ranked 15th among public institutions and was the top university in Virginia.

Over the past five years, W&M has more than doubled its available grant aid for in-state students. Since the adoption of the Promise, W&M has dropped its average net price — the actual out-of-pocket costs after financial aid and scholarships are factored — for most Virginia students who qualify for aid. For example, the average net price for Virginia families making less than $75,000 has dropped by more than 20 percent. For in-state families making less than $40,000 annually, W&M meets the financial need entirely from grants, not loans.

While William & Mary has committed more resources toward financial aid, Sam Jones, senior vice president of finance and administration, added that private support toward scholarships also remains a critical piece to the university’s financial model. The top priority of the For The Bold  fundraising campaign is to raise $350 million in private scholarship support for all W&M students, Jones said.

“William & Mary provides tremendous educational value, and the Promise helps ensure that we can keep providing it,” said President Taylor Reveley. “A strong, stable financial foundation, one which all parts of the William & Mary family help build, is essential to progress.  The Promise is an important element in building this foundation and securing a William & Mary future worthy of its past.”

Tuition for out-of-state students and graduate students, in addition to fees and room and board, will be set in April, when the Board of Visitors approves the annual budget.