MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –– West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee says he would like to eventually see WVU move to a different method of charging its thousands of students for their educations.
“Our long-term plan is to, hopefully, moderate and get out of the tuition business — in terms of increases — and to move to other, different kinds of financial models,” Gee said.
For now, though, the trend of annual tuition increases for students at West Virginia’s land-grant institution will likely continue.
On Thursday, WVU’s Board of Governors approved an almost eight percent hike for in-state students, or an additional $252 per semester, and a four percent increase for out-of-state students, or an additional $396 per semester.
With the increases, tuition will be $3,480 each semester for students from West Virginia and $10,212 each semester for everyone else.
“That is money to anyone but, as compared to when I was in the private institutions, if you raised it that much, Brown’s tuition is well over $50,000, Vanderbilt’s is well over $50,000 and most state universities are substantially higher than ours,” Gee said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The present-day challenge for higher education, he said, is to find ways to increase quality in higher education while moderating costs. “People will pay to come to an institution if they believe that they’re getting a great education and they believe that the cost of their money is being used very wisely,” said Gee.
The tuition increases are part of WVU’s $980 million dollar budget for the next year. State funding now accounts for less than 20 percent of that total, with $20 million coming out of the budget because of state cuts during just the past two years.
The BOG has voted to add $1.5 million to needs-based scholarships.
In April, Marshall University’s Board of Governors approved similar tuition increases that add up to an additional $155 per semester for in-state students and $290 per semester for out-of-state students.