February 16, 2019
Partners in the Richmond Times Dispatch: Tuition could freeze at Virginia colleges under House of Delegates budget

An article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this week on the Virginia House of Delegates’ proposal to fund and freeze tuition at Virginia’s public colleges and universities featured several members of Partners’ team.  

Lending a student perspective, Tanner Hirschfeld and Nick DaSilva, who serve as Partners’ campus coordinators at the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University, respectively, spoke favorably of the proposal that would allocate an additional $45.7 million towards offsetting the need for in-state tuition increases at Virginia’s public institutions next Fall.  

“When Nick Da Silva started at Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall of 2016, tuition and fees at the Richmond school were $13,130. They’ve increased 10 percent since.
“A budget presented by state lawmakers would freeze tuition rates in an effort to help Virginia families and students whose bills continue to grow.
“‘It’s getting up to the point where it’s just too high,’ said Da Silva, a senior political science major. ‘This is a really good solution.’
“The House of Delegates’ budget includes $45.7 million for public colleges to keep tuition at this year’s levels for next year. Tuition at the schools rose nearly 80 percent over the past decade. The freeze is not included in the Senate version or the budget proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam in December.
“Tanner Hirschfeld, a third-year student at the University of Virginia, said the proposal was ‘encouraging,’ and hoped colleges would ‘make the tough decisions to cut their budgets, rather than simply pass the burden off to the students as they have been doing for years now.’
“‘Colleges need to be responsible with their spending, and the General Assembly needs to ensure that is the case,’ said Hirschfeld, a government major from Portsmouth.”

Partners’ president, Dr. James Toscano, was also featured in the article.  Read Partners’ official statement on the House-led proposal HERE.

“‘The House proposal recognizes the fact that Virginia institutions have really been socking it to students and families who are paying the bills,’ said James Toscano, the president of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based higher education advocacy organization. ‘The proposal is real common sense.’”

Read the full article HERE.