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Virginia Tech board considers raising tuition, seeking public feedback

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - After two years, Virginia Tech students could see a tuition increase next semester.

The university’s Board of Visitors is considering it at their next meeting, but students aren’t exactly excited about the increase.

“It isn’t really a smart move in terms of the costs, like if I’m trying to compare going to Virginia Tech or another state school, I’ll probably pick a more affordable state school, so I feel like they are kind of taking away the affordability aspect of the school,” said freshman Nyla Carter-Ogden.

Students say with the pandemic and most classes being online, they don’t see the reason for the increase.

“At least during this time with like COVID and everything, it’s not really necessary for them to try to increase the tuition, considering most of the classes are online, I’m not really having in-person lectures,” said sophomore Louisa Obenwa.

“I don’t think it’s very ideal for tuition to be raised, so preferably I’d rather see it go back to a better cause, rather than like another building that’s going to be made for no apparent reason,” said Carter-Ogden.

But the university says the change is to help support the university’s overall strategic plan and major projects.

“The conversation is truly about us trying to find the right balance between affordability and access for students and families all across the Commonwealth in the nation with quality and value,” said Mark Owczarski, the assistant vice president for university relations at Virginia Tech.

Students could see up to a 2.9% tuition increase. If you break out a calculator, that could cost a Virginia resident an extra $331 on top of an $11,420 yearly tuition, while out-of-state students could pay up to $869 more.

  • Virginia resident undergraduates: Tuition and E&G fees may increase between 0 percent and 2.9 percent.
  • Non-resident undergraduates: Tuition and E&G fees may increase between 0 percent and 2.9 percent.
  • On-campus graduate students: Tuition and E&G fees may increase between 0 percent and 2.9 percent.
  • All students: Mandatory fees may increase up to $90 to support mandated cost increases including employee benefits and compensation, as well as enhancements in student health and counseling services.

The university’s spokesperson says there hasn’t been a tuition increase the last two years.

“Virginia Tech has held its tuition with no increase for Virginia residents, because of the pandemic most recently, but also because of wanting to find that right balance,” said Owczarski.

He says the board’s final decision depends if the state finishes its budget next month.

Board of Visitors members and university administrators will facilitate a budget workshop March 8 at 1:15 p.m. at the Holtzman Alumni Center within the Inn at Virginia Tech (901 Price’s Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061).

After a presentation providing an overview of the proposed increases, the public will be provided an opportunity to make comments in accordance with Board of Visitors guidelines. For those interested in participating in the public comment opportunity:

  • Speakers must pre-register on a first-come, first-served basis for the public comment period with the Board Secretary by March 5. Speakers will be asked to specify their affiliation with the university, (current student, parent, alum, faculty or staff, member of the public). Register at the Board of Visitors website.
  • After the presentation on March 8, the public comment period will be held for one hour. If time remains during the public comment period after the pre-registered speakers offer their comments, additional speakers may be offered the opportunity to speak during the remaining time.
  • There will be dedicated time slots for a representative from the Student Government Association and from the Graduate Student Assembly to provide a statement on behalf of their respective constituency. This does not preclude individual students from registering to speak during the public comment period or from providing written comments.
  • Each speaker is limited to three (3) minutes and must restrict their comments to tuition and fees only. Speakers wishing to have their comments entered in the public record must bring a typed copy.
  • Written comments will be accepted through Sunday, March 14. Enter written comments online at the Board of Visitors website, or mail to:

Kim O’Rourke - Secretary to the Board of Visitors

Virginia Tech (MC 0125)

800 Drillfield Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061

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