Last year, Partners launched the Trustees Votes Project in Virginia to allow the public to track the votes of governing board members on tuition and free rates at each public institution. We have recently updated this database to reflect the most current votes on tuition and mandatory fees in a new, user-friendly format. This database is the only place where the tuition votes taken by these public officials have been consolidated into singular dataset.
“A year like this past one – when tuition and most mandatory fees were frozen – demonstrates the importance of this transparency in our trustee voting project,” said Partners’ president James Toscano. “Some governing board members voted for big hikes in certain fees, while others –like members of the State Board for Community Colleges – held the line. It’s important for the public to be able to look behind the curtain and see who in our community is making these decisions.”
As shown in the database, Virginia students and their families saw their costs increase slightly this year despite a state-funded freeze on in-state tuition and mandatory E&G (educational and general)fees. The governing boards of every public institution voted unanimously last spring to accept additional state funding by freezing tuition and mandatory E&G fees, resulting in a one-year reprieve for students and families after seventeen consecutive years of tuition hikes.
But given that tuition moderation funding allocated by state lawmakers did not apply to all mandatory fees, trustees voted to increase their mandatory non-E&G fees – including fees for student activities and athletics – by an average 4.1 percent. As a result, tuition and all mandatory fees at Virginia’s public institutions increased by 1.3 percent ($175).
View individual voting records in the updated Trustee Votes Project dataset HERE.