Today, Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust applauded members the Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Committee on their proposal to continue last year's historic tuition freeze over the coming biennium. The newly announced House budget includes $112 million in additional state appropriations for public colleges and universities that choose to hold down tuition at their 2019-2020 rates.
According to Delegate Betsy Carr (D-Richmond), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee's Higher Education subcommittee, this "affordability sequel" is not mandatory and governing boards may elect to decline this funding in favor of raising tuition. In a change from last year, Carr announced that any forgone funds will be distributed proportionally to the colleges and universities that "choose affordability."
"Today's action makes clear that concern over rising tuition is shared by both political parties," said Partners' president James Toscano. "During a year marked by new policy directions, as can be expected after a change in power, this 'affordability sequel' builds on last year's historic tuition freeze. If passed, three straight years of holding down tuition would give Virginians a chance to play financial catch-up when it comes to the share of household income they've been spending on college education. On behalf of Virginia's college students and families, we applaud Chairman Torian and House leadership for their proposed budget and hope that Senate leaders will support this plan in conference."