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UMW looks at tuition increase
UMW proposes tuition increase for 2011-12


Date published: 10/7/2010

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

University of Mary Washington President Rick Hurley yesterday explained to students the need for a significant tuition increase in 2011-12.

The university has to increase in-state tuition, fees, and room and board by $1,206, or 7.6 percent, to avoid more budget cuts, Hurley said. But he also discussed upping the payments by as much as $2,464, or 15.5 percent, to fund new positions and more financial aid, among other things.

The dollar increase would be the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

"We can't tread water, and that's the reason behind the conversation," Hurley said during a Student Government Association meeting yesterday afternoon.

Millions in state budget cuts--as well as the expiration next year of federal stimulus dollars--have created the need for tuition increases statewide, Hurley said.

He outlined the university's efforts to curb spending, which have included freezing 43 positions.

"You might say to me, 'Well, cut more,'" Hurley said. "I don't think we can."

In May, the university increased in-state tuition, fees, and room and board for the 2010-11 school year by $1,200, or 8.2 percent.

Hurley called yesterday's meeting "a conversation about what could or might happen going forward." The board of visitors is scheduled to approve tuition next spring.

Board of visitors member Xavier Richardson assured students that "this is not a rubber-stamp board." He called any tuition increase an "investment in your future."

Still, many students aren't happy about the possibility of paying more. Sophomore Ryley Trahan has organized an on-campus rally next Thursday called "Speak up or pay up: An effort to keep what little money we have." As of yesterday, more than 600 students planned to attend, Trahan said.

On a Facebook page promoting the rally, Trahan wrote that UMW students "should be in an uproar" about the proposed tuition increases.

Hurley said additional revenue would enable the university to push forward with his goal of making UMW the best public liberal arts university in the country.

"That's why this conversation is so critical," he said.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com


University of Mary Washington students from Virginia are paying $15,874 in tuition, fees, and room and board. UMW President Rick Hurley said an increase of $1,206 for 2011-12 would maintain status quo. Administrators have also proposed other scenarios. They include:

Increasing tuition, fees, and room and board by $2,464, which would be a 15.5 percent increase for in-state students.

Increasing tuition, fees, and room and board by $2,070, which would be a 13 percent increase for in-state students.

Increasing, tuition, fees, and room and board by $1,678, which would be a 10.6 percent increase for in-state students.