MONTGOMERY, W.Va. — Tuition costs will rise and employee pay will stay the same at West Virginia University in the coming year as university officials grapple with cuts to state funding.
On Thursday, WVU’s Board of Governors approved a 6-percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students, adding up to $183 more each semester or $366 more for the year. Students in some specific programs will pay even more.
The increase for non-resident undergraduate students will rise by 4 percent, or $764 more each year.
“Once we get through this, there’s probably going to be less people. There’s going to be less support services. Things are going to have to change in order to deal with the (state) cuts.” — Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president for administration and finance
Because state appropriations for WVU are being cut by $13 million in the coming year, the university’s Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese told MetroNews on Thursday there was no way to avoid making students pay more.
“I don’t know how we ensure quality and provide the range of programming and services that we do without adding $366 to the tuition bill,” Weese said.
The tuition increases also will apply to graduate students.
The state Higher Education Policy Commission must sign off on any of the proposed tuition increases above 4.99 percent.
The 2013-2014 budget that board members approved Thursday during their meeting at West Virginia University Tech also included a pay freeze for employees — a move Weese estimated could save WVU more than $8 million next year.
According to the WVU’s projections, however, that still won’t be enough to fill the budget hole state cuts have created.
During the next two years, university officials will be working on a strategy to implement reductions for the long term.
“Our goal here is to try to think strategically and then that will give us a way of identifying exactly what the ramifications are going to be when we get to the permanent cuts,” said Weese, citing the need for more efficient operations.
“Eventually, once we get through this, there’s probably going to be less people. There’s going to be less support services. Things are going to have to change in order to deal with the (state) cuts.”
The new budget year for WVU begins next month.