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2016-17 Tuition & Fee Report Highlights

Most in-state undergraduates attending Virginia’s public colleges and universities will see their tuitions and mandatory fees increase this year an average of $369, or 3.6 percent, the lowest such rate in 15 years. Including only tuition and classroom-related fees, the average increase for those students came to 2.9 percent. 

Tuition & Fees:

The average tuition and mandatory E&G fees for instruction-related activities for in-state undergraduate students will increase by $338 (4.6%) in the 2016-17 academic year.  Breaking it down, that means there will be an average increase of $367 (4.7%) at four-year institutions and $112 (2.6%) at community colleges. In comparison, these charges increased by 7.1% last year. Tuition and all mandatory fees—which include athletic fees, student health service fees, and student government fees—will increase by $500 (4.6%). That compares to last year’s increase of 6.0%. In total, including room and board charges, Virginia undergraduate students will pay on average $852 (4.0%) more at four-year institutions. However, excluding the College of William and Mary (CWM) and University of Virginia (UVA) that have variable tuition charges to in-state undergraduate students, the average increase in tuition and mandatory E&G fees for the system is $202 (2.9%) and the average increase in tuition and all mandatory fees is $369 (3.6%), setting new records for the lowest annual increases in 15 years. Twelve institutions and 97% of the in-state undergraduate students will have tuition increases that are 3% or less. See Chart 1.
 

Chart 1: 2016-17 Full Time in-State Undergraduate Student Charges

2016-17 Full Time In-State Undergraduate Student Charges

Virginia’s Tuition & Fees Rank Among All States:

In 2016-17, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees at Virginia public institutions are estimated to rank 12th highest in the nation for the doctoral/research category. Tuition and fees at the comprehensive institutions are expected to rank 6th highest nationally. Charges at Virginia two-year colleges have steadily increased since 2000, setting new historical levels over the last five years. Tuition and fees at Virginia two-year colleges are estimated to rank 12th highest nationally in FY2017 (Chart 2).

Chart 2: Virginia Rank Among All States1

(In-State Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Public Institutions)

Virginia Rank Among All States
NOTE:
(1) Based on full-time in-state undergraduate tuition and fees in IPEDS.
(2) VA charges are actual tuition and fees in FY16. Charges in other states are estimated by applying 2014-15 national increase rates of 2.8% for doctoral and 3.2% for comprehensive institutions, and 3.3% for public two-year colleges published in "Trends in College Pricing 2014" by the College Board.
SOURCE: IPEDS Institutional Characteristics and College Board.


Historical Perspective of Tuition & Fee Increases:

The Commonwealth has an official tuition policy premised on the rationale that higher education yields both public and private benefits. However, there is an inverse relationship between state funding and the rate at which tuition has increased at Virginia’s public higher education institutions. When the state provides additional support to public higher education, institutions are able to better control the rate at which they increase tuition. When the state reduces its funding, institutions increase tuition to help offset budget cuts. Chart 3 depicts the average annual increase in tuition and mandatory E&G fees for in-state undergraduate students in the past 16 years.

Chart 3: Average Annual Increases in Tuition and E&G Fees for In-State Undergraduate Students FY2001-FY2017

Average Annual  Increases in  Tuition

Tuition Cost-Share Trend & Affordability:  

In 2004, the Joint Subcommittee on Higher Education Funding Policy developed the goal of a 67%/33% cost share between the state and students. However, a combination of budget cuts and tuition increases has reduced the state’s share of the cost in the past 15 years. In FY2017 the state is expected to pay only 47% while the student share is estimated at 53%, a record high. The state share of the cost is 20 percentage points lower than the target of 67%. See Chart 4. 

Chart 4: Cost-Share Relationship between the State and In-State Undergraduate Students

Cost-Share Relationship between the State and In-State Undergraduate Students
*The tuition policy required out-of-state students to pay 100% of costs, but had no cost-share requirement for in-state undergraduate students. Calculation based on the average appropriated cost of education. 
** The goal of the tuition policy was for in-state undergraduate students to pay 25% of the cost. 
Calculation based on the average appropriated cost of education. 
***The goal of the tuition policy was for in-state undergraduate students to pay 33% of the cost. 
Calculation based on the average appropriated cost of education. 


Tuition as a Percentage of Per Capita Disposable Income:

As a percentage of per capita disposable income (income available for spending and saving), the average total cost for an in-state undergraduate student living on campus at a four-year institution is estimated at 47.6% in FY2017 (see Chart 5 on next page). This measure of affordability has crept steadily higher from a low point (more affordable) of 31.8% in FY2001 and has surpassed the historical peak (least affordable) of 46.7% set last year. 

Average Public Four-Year Total Undergraduate Charges As a Percent of Per Capita Disposable Income

5AverPublic4YrUndergradCharges
NOTE: Cost includes tuition and mandatory fees, and room and board.
SOURCE: College Board, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and SCHEV

 
At more than 10%, Virginia’s two-year college charges as a percent of per capita disposable income will be also set a record in FY2017. 

Average Public Two-Year Total Undergraduate Charges As a Percent of Per Capita Disposable Income1,2

Average Public Two-Year Undergraduate Charges

NOTES: 
(1) Cost includes tuition and mandatory fees.
(2) Virginia public 2-year charges include the Richard Bland College commuter student charges and Virginia Community College System changes.
SOURCE: College Board, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and SCHEV


2016-17 Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Student Charges by Institution

(Click image for larger view)
 
2016-17 Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Student Charges by Institution
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