Most Virginia colleges to freeze tuition, Youngkin requests

At least 10 colleges will flatten tuition costs, according to the announcement

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia college students could be in luck this fall.

In a press release Friday, the Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that there are at least ten state colleges that will flatten tuition costs for in-state undergraduates this fall.

The announcement comes after a request was made by Governor Youngkin to lighten the burden on college students and their families.

The press release listed these ten colleges that have agreed to Youngkin’s request so far:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • James Madison University
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • The University of Mary Washington
  • Longwood University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Virginia Tech
  • The College of William & Mary
  • Virginia State University
  • Norfolk State University

The Governor’s office said that some colleges are undecided, like George Mason University, which is reevaluating later this year, and others like Radford University, Christopher Newport University, and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, all of which did not comment or did not have information to provide.

However, the announcement reported one university that did not adhere to the request: the University of Virginia.

The release said that would cost UVA $7.5 million to flatten tuition according to Youngkin said, and he went on to say that the amount would be a small commitment for a school with a “giant budget” of almost $2 billion.

Other colleges like JMU, Mary Washington, and VMI told the Governor’s office that increased state funds are part of the reason they can freeze tuition costs, according to the release.

While some colleges are adhering willingly, they said such changes wouldn’t necessarily be easy.

Karol Kain Gray, VCU’s chief financial officer, told the Governor’s office that flattening tuition would lead to an $11 million budget shortfall and the elimination of 62 jobs through attrition, but no layoffs.

“I don’t want anyone to think this won’t be difficult,” VCU rector Ben Dendy told the Governor’s office.

Several schools told the Governor’s office that they will raise fees and the cost of room and board next year and others that have flattened tuition will raise their price but offer a one-time scholarship to in-state undergraduates that cover the cost of the increase, and that out-of-state student and graduate students will still pay the increase.

The Governor’s office reported that the schools that have frozen tuition are expecting an increase next year, but Youngkin said he won’t worry about that until next year and that he understands inflation has hit colleges, too.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.