Virginia Tech tuition freeze proposed

Torgersen Bridge on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. Photo by Ray Meese for Virginia Tech

The Finance and Resource Management Committee of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted Friday to recommend a tuition freeze for resident and nonresident undergraduate, graduate, and professional students for the 2020-21 academic year.

“Though we fully acknowledge the university will face challenging budgetary times ahead, I am grateful the board will consider this resolution on Tuesday. If approved, it will provide our students and their families with much needed support and greater stability during this uncertain time,” said Letitia A. “Tish” Long, chair of the Finance and Resource Management Committee. “If approved, it will clearly demonstrate our absolute commitment to our students and make a Virginia Tech education accessible for those who seek it.

“I want to thank President Sands, Provost Clarke, and Senior Vice President Pinkney for their hard work for getting this resolution before us,” said Long, “and for their ongoing commitment to our students and families during this crisis.”

For a third consecutive year, tuition will remain at $11,420 annually for Virginia undergraduate students. Tuition for nonresident students will remain at $29,960.

And to further support low- and middle-income families who seek a Virginia Tech education, the university intends to allocate approximately $3.3 million in additional resources toward financial aid programs next year, raising the total institutional support for student financial aid to $62 million in 2020-21.

As part of the growth in financial aid, Virginia Tech will continue to protect low- and middle-income students from tuition and fee increases to help families plan for the cost of education over four years through its Fund for the Future program. The program provides 100 percent protection from tuition and fee increases for returning students with a family income of up to $100,000. The Virginia Tech Grant program will be enhanced to further reduce the unmet need of Virginia resident undergraduates. In addition, the university’s Presidential Scholarship Program will provide full four-year scholarships to 85 incoming resident students next year, growing the total enrollment in the program to more than 300 students.

Including university-funded support, Virginia Tech undergraduates received approximately $128.8 million in grant aid and scholarship support last fiscal year.

E&G fees, or fees that support library and technology services for students, also will remain at their current levels for all students in 2020-21. At Virginia Tech, these fees total $175 for all students, while nonresidents are assessed an additional state-assigned capital fee.

The comprehensive fee, which supports auxiliary operations including health services, recreation sports, student activities, transit system, intercollegiate athletics, and career services, is paid by all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on the Blacksburg campus. The comprehensive fee will increase by $58, bringing the comprehensive fee total to $2,154, the lowest of all 15 public universities in the state.

Next year, tuition and mandatory fees for resident undergraduate students will be $13,749, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.4 percent. The total tuition and mandatory fees for nonresident undergraduate students will be $32,893 annually, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.2 percent.

On average, room and board charges for both resident and nonresident undergraduate students will increase next year by 2.3 percent, or $214 per year, to a total of $9,556 annually. Virginia Tech room and board fees for freshmen are the lowest of all 15 public universities in the state.

When adding tuition and mandatory fees with room and board, the total cost in 2020-21 for a Virginia undergraduate student living on campus will be $23,305. Nonresident undergraduate students living on campus will pay $42,449. Virginia Tech ranks 10th of Virginia’s 15 public universities in total cost for resident students.

In addition, differential program fees used in select academic programs to offset higher instructional costs, ensure continued academic program quality, maintain advanced technology, and expand enrollment opportunities in these high-demand programs will not increase next year.

Virginia Tech will continue to discount on-campus undergraduate tuition by 10 percent during the summer session and winter session courses to help students complete degrees at an accelerated pace during nontraditional times.

In 2020-21, tuition and mandatory fees for resident graduate students will be $16,030, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.4 percent. The total tuition and mandatory fees for nonresident graduate students will be $30,547 annually, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.2 percent.

The total annual cost to Virginia and Maryland veterinary students will be $25,435, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.2 percent. Nonresident veterinary students will pay $54,568, increasing only by the $58 change in the comprehensive fee, or 0.1 percent.

Students enrolling at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine this summer will pay a total annual cost of $54,420, increasing only by a $364 change in the student services fee, or 0.7 percent.

Tuition and fees are the primary source of revenue supporting the university’s E&G budget. In the current fiscal year, for example, tuition and fees from both resident and nonresident students account for $586.1 million (or 71.4 percent) of the $809.7 million total E&G budget. The state provides $184.7 million (or 22.8 percent) toward the E&G budget, and an additional $46.9 million (or 5.8 percent) comes from other sources.