The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Thursday (June 29) unanimously approved a $1.07 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, including an average 5 percent tuition increase.
While the budget adopted by the Legislature last week reflected a 6.6 percent, or $8.7 million, reduction in state support, the Board was able to keep to its previous plan for tuition increases. The reduction is about $3 million more than had been anticipated; the Legislature has reduced state support to WVU by more than $38 million in the last four years.
Total state support for the fiscal year beginning July 1 dropped to $175.3 million from the last year’s $184.4 million, which had previously been reduced by mid-year cuts.
“Even though we are receiving less money from the state, we are committed to keeping tuition as affordable as possible,” President Gordon Gee said, “Accordingly, we will absorb the reductions in other areas of the university in order to maintain the same tuition plan under which we have been operating.”
Challenging the notion that the final state budget did not raise taxes, Gee said, “We just raised taxes on every parent and student at this institution. We are raising taxes on individuals who can least afford it.
“The future of this state depends on a lively, vibrant and strong university,” Gee said. “This is not the kind of investment strategy (by the state), that will make this happen.”
Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese noted that the reductions will require the University to adjust its original long-term plan. In addition, tuition and fees now account for 40 percent of the University’s income, up from 35 percent four years ago.
Other units throughout the University will see a 4 percent reduction from final 2016-17 allocations, with the exception of Health Sciences, which received a 3 percent cut, and the divisional campuses, which stayed the same.
Resident tuition will increase $384 an academic year, from $7,992 to $8,376; non-resident tuition goes up $1,128 from $22,488 to $23,616.
The tuition increase was accompanied with a matching 5 percent increase in institutionally-funded financial support to $160 million, including graduate students and employees.
The overall budget includes a $7.5 million strategic initiatives pool, about $5 million of which is set aside for possible faculty and staff raises later in the fiscal year.
“In preparing the budget, we kept to several guiding principles, primarily to increase investments in our core mission and the long-term quality of the institution,” Weese said. Other factors included continuing a positive operating margin, preserving the University’s cash position and maintaining its current bond rating.
Specific changes in resident tuition per semester year are:
· Morgantown campus: Undergraduate tuition increases $192, or 4.8 percent, which, when combined with various college tuitions ranges up to 5.95 percent. Graduate tuition increases $225, or 5 percent, which results in a range from 5.2 percent to 9.38 percent when combined with various college tuitions.
· Health Science: Undergraduate rises $192, or 4.8 percent, which when combined with college tuition can range from increases of 3.67 percent to 5.95 percent. Graduate goes up $225, or 5 percent, which results in an effective range of 3.39 percent to 6.32 percent. Professional programs are also increased $225, or 5 percent, which results in an effective increase of between 1.51 percent to 7.93 percent.
· Keyser campus (Potomac State): $96, or 4.73 percent, which, when combined with specific college tuition results in a range of 4.73 percent to 10.06.
· Beckley campus (West Virginia University Institute of Technology): $156 or 4.69 percent, resulting in a range from 4.69 percent to 6.19 percent.
Specific changes in non-resident tuition per academic year are:
· Morgantown campus: Undergraduate tuition increases $564, or 5.02 percent, which, when combined with various college tuitions ranges from 5.16 percent to 5.43 percent. Graduate tuition increases $576, or 4.96 percent, which results in a range from 3.14 percent to 6.36 percent when combined with various college tuitions.
· Health Science: Undergraduate rises $564, or 5.026 percent, which when combined with college tuition can range from increases of 2.88 percent to 5 percent. Graduate goes up $576, or 4.96 percent, which results in an effective range of 3.44 percent to 6.3 percent. Professional programs are also increased $576, or 4.96 percent, which results in an effective increase of between 1.98 percent to 7.6 percent.
· Keyser campus (Potomac State): $168, or 3.23 percent, which, when combined with specific college tuition results in a range of 3.23 percent to 5.3 percent.
· Beckley campus (West Virginia University Institute of Technology): $408 or 4.88 percent, resulting in a range from 4.88 percent to 6.19 percent.
Housing and dining meal rates also increased: $93, or 3.5 percent, for a double room in Morgantown, $66, or 3.5 percent in Keyser and $167, or 5 percent, in Beckley. A 20-meal per week plan in Morgantown goes up $86 or 3.5 percent; a 19-meal plan in Keyser increases $72, or 3.5 percent, and in Beckley up $102, or 5 percent.
CONTACT: John A. Bolt; University Relations/Communications