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W&M Board of Visitors approves 2018-19 budget

Returning in-state undergrads will see no increase in tuition

The William & Mary Board of Visitors on Friday unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018-19 budget (FY 2019), which continues to support financial aid and other priorities identified in the university’s six-year plan.

The Board of Visitors in November set in-state tuition for the incoming freshman class and approved extending the William & Mary Promise for a sixth year. As part of the W&M Promise’s guaranteed tuition plan, sophomore, junior and senior classes will continue to see no tuition increases in the FY 2019 budget.

At Friday’s meeting, the Board approved the FY 2019 operating budget and related out-of-state undergraduate tuition, costs for graduate and professional students as well as fees and room and board.

Sam Jones, senior vice president for finance and administration, said the budget continues to focus on previously identified priorities, including need-based financial aid, increased investments in campus safety, implementing the new general education curriculum, funding the first year of the Richard Bland Promise Scholars and covering anticipated increases in employee health insurance costs.

“This will be a very challenging budget year, which means strategic investments and planning have never been more important,” said President Taylor Reveley.

“The plan adopted Friday will enable us to continue to support initiatives core to our mission, including adding critical financial aid for Virginia’s low- and middle-income families. Increasing social mobility and economic diversity on our campus has been a priority under the Promise and the university has made real progress in recent years.”

The new investment in financial aid for FY 2019 over the current budget is $7.5 million, including support anticipated from the William & Mary Foundation. These incremental funds address additional costs incurred during FY 2018 and projected needs through the end of FY 2019. Over the past five years, William & Mary has more than doubled its available grant aid for in-state undergraduate students. 

Since the adoption of the W&M Promise, the university 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.

With this past fall’s entering class, William & Mary saw a 21-percent increase in new Pell-eligible undergraduate students, both freshmen and transfers. Last 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.

“With this budget, William & Mary continues its commitment to socio-economic diversity and increasing access to one of the top institutions of higher education for Virginia students of tremendous talent and ability,” said Rector Todd A. Stottlemyer ’85.

As announced in November, incoming in-state undergraduate student tuition will be $17,434. Tuition will remain frozen at $13,978 for in-state undergraduate students admitted in fall 2015; $15,674 for those admitted in fall 2016 and $16,370 for those admitted in fall 2017, Jones said.

Out-of-state undergraduate tuition increases by 3.5 percent in the approved budget, to $38,735 a year. The total cost for out-of-state undergraduate students, including tuition, fees and room and board, will total $57,508.