JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – As state funding continues to decrease, the WVU Board of Governors once again is forcing students to help make up the difference.
The BOG approved an 8-percent spike in tuition and fees for in-state students and a 4-percent increase for out-of-state enrollees on Thursday, part of the university’s new budget.
“It becomes a real juggling act because there aren’t a whole lot of avenues you can look to,” BOG chairman Jim Dailey II told MetroNews.
Tuition and fees will rise $252 a semester for West Virginia students and $396 a semester for their out-of-state counterparts. The annual tuition at WVU will climb to $6,860 a year for in-state residents and $20,424 for non-residents.
University president E. Gordon Gee claimed WVU remains a bargain despite the increase.
“While we recognize that increasing the tuition even $1 is a concern for our current and prospective students, a West Virginia University education remains one of the best investments you can make,” Gee said in a release. “Even with the rising cost of higher education, the return over a lifetime remains substantial – even into the millions of dollars.”
Dailey said the BOG is concerned about growing student debt and in response approved a plan to increase financial aid for needy students at a greater percentage than the tuition increase, adding $1.5 million to the needs-based program.
“Each year, hopefully that financial aid for that particular student will increase proportionately,” he said. “It’s something that’s not been done in the past. There’s all kinds of forward thinking with respect to how that affects the student both from the financial aid point of view and financial debt.”
Dailey said WVU is continuing a budget review of all programs.
The tuition increase will go before the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for final approval.
Thursday’s BOG meeting took place at Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County.