Tuition costs in Virginia climb after budget impasse

Tuition jumped by 5.2 percent on average at public four-year colleges and universities and by 4.6 percent at community colleges, according to data released Wednesday by the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia.

According to Kirsten Nelson, a spokeswoman for the state council, also known as SCHEV, tuition rose in part because universities did not have a clear picture of how much money they would receive from the state because of the General Assembly budget impasse.

The average public college student attending a four-year university will pay about $544 more this school year for tuition and mandatory fees, according to the report. The average community college student will shell out an extra $180.

"We know that education pays — in lifetime earnings and benefits to society," said SCHEV Director Peter Blake. "This report reminds us that education also costs — and that students and parents increasingly are carrying the weight."

Tuition hikes will be seen in Hampton Roads. At Christopher Newport University, tuition and mandatory fees are up by 5 percent from last year, with students paying $11,600 for the school year — $554 more than last year.

At the College of William and Mary, incoming freshmen will pay $17,600 for tuition and fees, nearly 20 percent more than the previous class. Last year William and Mary guaranteed the price of tuition for all four years of school for the incoming freshmen class, meaning they won't see a hike as sophomores.

Elsewhere, Old Dominion University students will pay 4.9 percent more, with tuition and fees totaling $9,250. Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia saw increases of 4.9 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, according to the report.

Bogues can be reached by phone at 757-247-4536.

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