Wednesday Weekly Reader: the Virginia Public University Edition

Thomas Jefferson – Third President of the Unit...

TJ graduated from W&M; founded UVa. Image via Wikipedia

Recent news from the college admissions / search / finance front.

Many states’ budget woes have bumped up public university tuition and fees. Some public universities also must maintain a delicate balance between the funds received from the state government with the higher non-resident fees paid by out-of-state admitted students.

Stories published in the past two days bring the Virginia public university picture up to date.

1.  From Monday:  We have state legislators concerned that Virginia residents are not admitted to the state’s premier public universities because they (UVa and William & Mary) are accepting too many non-residents.

Currently UVa admits approximately 30 percent from out-of-state; William & Mary, 35 percent. The legislator quoted in the article — also a W&M grad — would like out-of-state enrollment capped at 25 percent.

One state legislator, upset that so many constituents’ children with stellar grades are denied admission to the University of Virginia, says the school could be called the “University of New York, Charlottesville campus.”

UVa: Percent of In-State UndergradsThe legislator, Del. Timothy D. Hugo, represents Fairfax County, which is well represented at UVa, according to this article (and to those outside Fairfax County, natch). It’s hard to discern a pattern in the out-of-state enrollment numbers at UVa and W&M. The source data is available from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; see the searchable, downloadable database for 1993-2010  here. I’ve included a couple of graphs from those numbers; these show in-state enrollments. [Click graph to enlarge.]

While the legislator seeks a 25% cap for out-of-state enrollment, the lowest for UVa since 1993 is 29.7% (2005); the lowest for William & Mary is 31.8% (2008).

The article hits a lot of admissions topics — how decisions are made, how high schools are compared, what happens when two students from one school with similar records get different decisions, etc. Important locally, state-wide, and to parents trying to understand how it all works.

College of William & Mary: Percent of In-State Students2.  Tuesday’s article updates the tuition and fees data for Virginia public universities. [This article, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was also published in the Daily Progress, but could not be found there online.] The source data for this article is also available from SCHEV, via a 36 page pdf, 2011-2012 Tuition & Fees Report, which can be found here.

Although its percentage increase at 7.7 percent is below the state average, College of William and Mary students also will pay an additional $944 for a total of $13,132. With room and board, W&M is the state’s most expensive public school at $22,024, followed by Virginia Military Institute, which requires cadets to live on grounds, at $20,630.

UVa’s increase is 8.9%, bringing total charges to $20,612.

According to the newspaper article, Virginia states a goal of funding 67 percent of the public university cost, asking the student to pay 33 percent. The state’s contribution this year sets a new low of 51 percent, raising the question of how public these universities really are.

Virginia families are fortunate to have a wide range of public universities available. The most selective of them — the two highlighted here rank high on the USNews list — provide an attractive enough opportunity that Delegate Hugo and others think it should be more readily available to more Virginia students. And yet, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s contribution to the public universities is at an all time low.

What do you think? How many out-of-state undergrads does it take to balance the public university budget?

Enhanced by Zemanta


Filed under Reports

6 responses to “Wednesday Weekly Reader: the Virginia Public University Edition

  1. “University of New York, Charlottesville campus” – really? Oh, please. If 70% of the student body is from Virginia, that hardly seems fair. Not to mention – I thought diversity was a good thing!

    Regarding state funding for the public schools, according to W&M’s recent alumni fundraising efforts, they’re getting well below 51% of their total operating costs from the state – they quoted 40%ish mid-2010, and now in 2011 that has dropped to something like 37%. Obviously, they’re trying to raise money so it behooves them to drop that number lower, but I do wonder how they’re calculating the percentage vs. how the state is calculating…

  2. Kim_Connolly

    According to UVA, the state appropriation of the academic budget is 10.3% and it has consistently dropped every year for the past few years. It seems a bit disingenuous of the legislators to demand they admit more in-state students while at the same time dropping the state’s appropriation. Out of state tuition helps make up for that drop. Simple economics, even with UVa’s amazing fundraising machine. As an in-state parent, I may not like it, but I completely understand it.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly Reader: Show Me The Money! | Dr. StrangeCollege or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

  4. Pingback: College Admissions Secrets. | Dr. StrangeCollege or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s