RD265 - 2020-21 Tuition and Fees at Virginia State-Supported Colleges and Universities – August 2020

Executive Summary:

The Appropriation Act directs the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to submit an annual report to the Governor and the chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees documenting the annual change in total charges for tuition and fees approved by the boards of visitors at Virginia public institutions of higher education (Item 4-2.01.b.4.b).

In addition, the Governor and the General Assembly passed legislation in 2019 requiring SCHEV to report on “any deviation in the increase in undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees from the increase projected in the institutional six-year plan" (Code § 23.1-307.G).

The following are key findings from the 2020-21 Tuition and Fees Report.

1. Tuition and mandatory educational and general (E&G) fees (those fees related to instruction and supported by the state) increased by $98 (1.1%) for in-state undergraduate students at the system level. Eleven institutions did not increase tuition and mandatory E&G fees in 2020-21 because of concerns about access and affordability, especially during the COVID-19 period.

2. Mandatory non-educational and general E&G fees (those fees related to noninstructional activities) increased by $81 (2.0%), the lowest percentage increase since FY2000.

3. The average tuition and all mandatory fees for in-state undergraduates is $13,015, a $179 (1.4%) increase from the prior year.

4. Room and board charges average $11,210 at baccalaureate institutions, an increase of $209 (1.9%), the lowest percentage increase since FY2000.

5. Total charges from baccalaureate institutions — the average sum of tuition, all mandatory fees and room and board — are $25,112 for the 2020-21 academic year, an increase of $413 (1.7%) for in-state undergraduate students, the lowest percentage increase since FY2002.

6. In 2020-21, Virginia undergraduate students will pay, on average, 51% of the costs related to education, while the state will provide 49%-- this is a one percentage point increase in the state support. SCHEV staff estimate that if the state funded at the level of the cost-share policy (67%), tuition could be as much as $2,800 (35%) lower than current levels.

7. The total charges for in-state undergraduates as a percentage of per-capita disposable income remains higher than the national average at 46.1%.

8. Students who complete an associate degree at a community college and transfer to a baccalaureate institution can save an average of $19,028 of the cost of a bachelor’s degree.

9. All institutions had the actual increases in tuition and mandatory fees lower than the projected increases in their six-year plans for in-state undergraduate in 2020-21.