Today, Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust released the following statement in response to the decision by the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors to approve a budget that freezes tuition and mandatory E&G fees for all undergraduate students. This decision follows action by state lawmakers to allocate an additional $52.5 million for tuition moderation at Virginia's public colleges and universities, including $6.8 million for Virginia Commonwealth University.
While institutions must agree to freeze in-state tuition and mandatory E&G fees to qualify for their portion of this new funding, the General Assembly's plan does not extend to out-of-state tuition. Earlier this month, the Boards of Visitors at George Mason University and the Virginia Military Institute also approved rate freezes on both in-state and out-of-state tuition.
Ahead of today's meeting, the Board of Visitors held a public comment period to allow students to weigh in on the decision. While the General Assembly recently passed legislation requiring public colleges and university to hold public comment periods ahead of tuition decisions, the new law does not go into effect until July 1. Other institutions that have held similar public comment periods this spring include, George Mason University, James Madison University, the College of William & Mary, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Military Institute.
“By extending a tuition freeze to all undergraduate students, the VCU Board has gone above and beyond the scope of the General Assembly's plan to promote affordability," said Stacie Gordon, Partners' state advocacy manager. "It's commendable that the Board took action to promote greater affordability for all its undergraduates by finding the means within its existing finance structure."