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W&M approves zero tuition increase in 2019-20 for all in-state undergraduates

Board of Visitors votes to roll back previous tuition action for incoming in-state undergraduates; affirms four-year guarantee


The William & Mary Board of Visitors on Friday voted unanimously to hold tuition at 2018-19 levels for next fall’s incoming in-state undergraduates, reversing an earlier tuition action. The decision, made in response to increased higher education funding included in the state budget, means all W&M in-state undergraduates will see zero increase in tuition for the 2019-20 academic year.

“We want to thank Virginia’s elected officials for their exemplary leadership in partnering with the Commonwealth’s institutions of higher education to make this action possible,” said W&M Rector John E. Littel. “We are focused on ensuring access and affordability for Virginia students to the state’s outstanding and diverse public colleges and universities. The state support we received this year and the subsequent action today by the Board are important steps in this process.”

In November, the board had set tuition for incoming in-state undergraduates for fiscal year 2020 at $18,375, with a guarantee under the William & Mary Promise that the rate would not increase for the full four years of study. Since then, the Virginia General Assembly and Gov. Ralph Northam amended the Commonwealth’s appropriation act to provide additional state funding, including $1.45 million for William & Mary, if the public universities maintained in-state undergraduate tuition at current levels.

In response, the Board of Visitors agreed to maintain tuition at the 2019 level of $17,434 for in-state freshman students arriving next fall and to guarantee that rate for four years. Mandatory Educational & General (E&G) fees for incoming in-state undergraduates also will not change. “Essentially the state funds replace tuition revenue that would be generated by the Board’s November 2018 action,” the resolution explains.

“The increased support from the Commonwealth provides an opportunity for William & Mary to hold the line on tuition for incoming in-state students,” President Katherine A. Rowe said. “We are glad to partner with the state on this matter. This action, combined with the university’s commitment to provide need-based financial aid, allows William & Mary to remain one of the most affordable public institutions for low- and middle-income Virginia families.”

Since 2013, William & Mary has increased in-state student aid by 122 percent and reduced the “net price” for low- and middle-income families of need. W&M is now the least expensive public university in Virginia, on a net-price basis, for in-state families at income levels less than $110,000.

William & Mary’s fiscal year 2020 budget for financial aid totals $53.6 million, including over $3.5 million increase in combined support from the state, incremental tuition revenue and private funds. Of the total $53.6 million budgeted for financial aid, $44.3 million is allocated to support undergraduate students.

Consistent with the William & Mary Promise, tuition rates for continuing in-state undergraduate students admitted in fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 will not increase.

The total cost — including tuition, fees, room and board — for in-state undergraduates will range from $34,794 to $36,554, depending on class.

The action did not affect other fiscal year 2020 tuition or non-E&G fee movements, which were approved under a separate resolution. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition will increase by 3.5% (or $1,354) to $40,089, with a total cost of $59,780.

Tuition and fee increases for full-time, in-state and out-of-state graduate and professional students range from $679 to $1,446, varying by program, and reflect market conditions.

Revenue generated from these increases, along with significant new investment by the Commonwealth, will allow William & Mary to provide 3% salary increases for faculty and staff (pending availability of state resources), increase its minimum starting salary from $10.61 to $12 per hour and expand its academic programs in high demand fields, including computer and data sciences.