augusta free press news

McDonnell asks college presidents to use new state dollars to limit tuition hikes

Following General Assembly passage of a biennial budget that provides over $230 million in new funding for Virginia’s higher education system, Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging college presidents and boards to voluntarily endeavor to keep in-state tuition increases for the upcoming fall semester and beyond to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The governor made the request in a conference call with school officials in March, and again in a formal letter sent Friday.

“I remain very concerned about the affordability of post-secondary education for the young people of Virginia. As I conveyed to you during our recent conference call, I need your leadership now in holding down in-state tuition and fee increases,” McDonnell wrote in the letter.

“During the last decade, Virginia students experienced on average, double-digit tuition increases annually. This trend is unacceptable and cannot continue. I, therefore, ask that you endeavor to keep in-state tuition increases for the fall semester and beyond to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, because we cannot let dramatic price increases be a deterrent to higher education for all qualified and motivated Virginians.”

The average in-state tuition increase for the 2011-2012 school year in Virginia was 9.7%. The Consumer Price Index for the last 12 months, non-seasonally adjusted, was 2.7%. Virginia’s colleges and universities are currently determining tuition rates for the upcoming school year. Already the University of Virginia has announced a tuition increase of 3.7%, the lowest increase since 2001-2002.

augusta free press
augusta free press