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VCU approves budget, fees for 2012-2013

The Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors today approved an operating budget of $920 million that maintains the university’s commitment to academic quality and student success.

VCU President Michael Rao said that new state funding combined with a reallocation of resources will enable VCU to meet unavoidable cost increases for items such as utilities, building operations and maintenance and certain personnel-related expenses.  Importantly, the university also will be able to address goals under its strategic and Six-Year plans and the state’s Top Jobs 21 legislation to increase student retention and graduation rates, especially in STEM-H – science, technology, engineering, math and health – disciplines.

“We are grateful that the governor and General Assembly this year have made higher education a priority,” Rao said. “VCU’s budget is austere, but with movement toward restoration in state support, the university is able to move forward.”

The budget includes a $368, or 3.87 percent, increase in tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students – the lowest tuition and fees percent increase in 11 years.  Annual tuition and fee costs for the typical Virginia undergraduate will total $9,885.

The average annual cost for a Virginia undergraduate living in student housing with a meal plan will be $18,633, a 2.59 percent increase.

Non-resident undergraduates will pay $23,912 in tuition and mandatory fees, a 4.2 percent increase over last year. The out-of-state rate includes the annual capital outlay fee mandated by the state General Assembly to offset the cost of state debt service paid for academic buildings.

Rao said the university continues to contend with severe state budget cuts of several years ago that resulted in a loss of more than $63 million in state support. Because VCU educates more in-state students than any other four-year institution in Virginia, it received the largest cuts in state support.

VCU’s tuition and mandatory fee rates remain in the middle of the state’s four-year universities and colleges, and the lowest among the state’s national research universities.

The VCU board approved several other rate increases for the upcoming academic year, including those for advanced degrees.

Tuition and fees for in-state master’s students will increase $437, or 3.95 percent, for a total cost of $11,521. Costs for out-of-state master’s students will increase $893, or 4.19 percent, for a total cost of $22,197.

augusta free press
augusta free press