BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors voted Monday to raise tuition and fees for the 17th consecutive year.
The 2.9 percent hike represents an increase in hundreds of dollars for the cost of college for individual Tech students in the 2018-19 academic year. The board voted unanimously on the increase. No members offered comment before taking the vote during their full board meeting in Torgersen Hall Monday afternoon.
At the same time as the ongoing tuition increases, Tech President Tim Sands the school received more than 32,000 applications for admittance to Virginia Tech for the next school year. That figure is up 5,000 from last year and up 60 percent since 2014.
“Soaring interest in Virginia Tech for both in-state and out-of-state students reflects the value of the degree and the 21st century student experience that we offer,” Sands said.
The main drawback from that, Sands said, is that the school has to wait-list or deny qualified applicants who “could be successful at Virginia Tech.”
The 2.9 percent tuition rise is among the lowest percentage rate hikes since tuition was frozen by state lawmakers for the 2001-02 school year. The per student increases:
- In-state undergraduates’ annual tuition and fees will rise $390 from $13,230 to $13,620.
- Out-of-state undergraduates’ annual tuition and fees will rise $894 from $31,014 to $31,908.
- In-state graduate students’ annual tuition and fees will rise $438 from $15,072 to $15,510.
- Out-of-state graduate students’ annual tuition and fees will rise $819 from $28,810 to $29,629.
On campus boarding and housing cost will also rise by 2.8 percent, or $244, annually.
Sands called 2.9 percent increases each of the last three years as “lowest in the commonwealth.” He further said that the increases over that time period are in step with inflation rates from the Consumer Price Index and Higher Education Price Index.
“The actual cost to Virginia Tech for providing an undergraduate education has been more or less constant in real dollars since 2000,” Sands said.
In a now required public notice last month, Tech had advertised that tuition could have been raised by as much as 4.9 percent. University officials, though, advised the board take the lower 2.9 percent increase instead.
As part of the resolution passed, the board reserved the right to re-visit tuition if the general assembly doesn’t appropriate as much money as university officials anticipate. The state legislature will re-convene next month in a special session in an effort to pass a budget.
Tech students received about $112 million in grant aid and scholarship support last fiscal year. Tuition and fees make up $503.6 million of the university’s $702.8 million education and general program budget. The state funded $161.7 million, or 23 percent, this fiscal year, according to information provided by the university.
Graduate students will see their compensation package improve, including a 2 percent raise for their base stipends in November. The university will also continue to contribute 88 percent to their annual premium cost of the basic health insurance plan.
Also Monday, the board approved a variety of capital improvement projects.
The board greenlit a project to construct a $15.2 million student-athlete performance center funded by an anonymous donation announced in December. Construction on the project is slated to begin in the summer 2019.
Tech’s board then voted to allocate $10 million for an ACC Network Studio. That television studio will be located on the south side of Lane Stadium under the stands and would feature control rooms, a studio and office space. It is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2019, in time for the network’s launch later next year.
The board also approved $3.2 million to renovate the Commonwealth Ballroom in the Squires Student Center. The renovations, slated to begin this fall, will close the space until the project is complete in the spring of 2019. They include replacing lighting systems, stage systems and ceiling tiles and the installation of a new dividing wall.
Tech’s master plan has Squires slated to be demolished in the future, but that will happen in “several years,” according to Tech’s recommendation for the renovation.