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.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Wowbagger

    Comparing WVU to Brown or Vanderbilt is ridiculous Mr Gee!

    Just what "other, different kinds of financial models" are you considering... sounds good, but be specific!

  • John

    Gee is anti-catholic, get him out of WVU now!

  • Hillboy

    Nationally, the cost of a college education has risen 1200% in 30 years. Thirty years ago most Americans felt colleges provided a public benefit. That is not the case these days. Most people feel they only benefit those who are fortunate enough to be able to afford to attend. Having lived and worked in Morgantown for most of the past 40 years, one of the major differences I see in students is not that they are less prepared. It is that there are far fewer students entering who come from lower middle and middle class families. A higher percentage seem to come from well off families. Even state universities have effectively been privatized.

  • WVU 74

    What is going to be the benefit of this latest tuition increase to the student that has to pay it?

    As noted in the New York Times of June 1, 2014 -- The Pew Research Center found that more than half of college Presidents thought today's students were less prepared to enter college, studied less, were under dependable, and not motivated to complete their chosen majors. Today's college students lack any work ethic, plus they require constant affirmation. Freshmen lack the basic attitude and behaviors necessary for success.

    So, raising their tuition cost is going to motivate them more? Right, Dr. Gee!

  • Aaron

    One way to help students would be to get rid of the dogma that says "We're not here to educate you in your chosen field, we're here to make you a well rounded student" and get rid of all the electives students are required to take to complete their degree. Most majors have at least 1 years worth of classes that in no way pertain to their chosen field and do nothing but add $15 to $20 to the average students cost of attendance.

    • JMR

      You're advocating for an end to liberal arts education. That's never--nor should it--ever happen at a major university. There are places that serve the roll that you write of, though. They are called trade schools.

      • Mason County Contrarian

        Agree, JMR. I don't believe anyone truly wanting an education would seriously consider a "trade school" approach for the sake of economy. An education is expensive but worth every penny one invests in themselves. I guess the last thing we want is people being able to think, converse, or be exposed to information that challenges them beyond their majors or neanderthal notions.

      • Aaron

        The problem with a liberal arts education is that is becoming far to liberal. When an education major spends less time on their major, ~45 hours than they do on non-major courses, ~75 hours, there is something wrong. Often this is done in the name of employment and that is simply not needed.

        Look at any degree and study the core courses and the major courses and see how many spend more than 50-60% on those courses. There is no reason that students should take almost 2 years of liberal arts courses, particularly when those courses are "dumbed" down to help students remain academically eligible and keep them in school.

        Perhaps the liberal arts education was more important half a century ago but in today's world where an individual can access about anything they want, it is no longer required.

    • Aaron

      $15 to $20K

  • Jim

    I know I'm old, and it is just the effects of inflation over time, but the size of tuition increases lately is about the size of my tuition payments when I started college.