UPDATE: University of Virginia reverses decision to raise tuition, offers one-time credit to students

The University of Virginia will issue a one-time $690 credit to undergraduate students, reversing its tuition increase.

Governor Glenn Youngkin requested in June that state colleges freeze tuition to help students save money in the face of rising inflation.

The University of Virginia will issue a singular $690 credit to undergraduate state residents for the 2022-2023 academic year to reverse its tuition increase announced last December.

The decision, voted on by the UVA Board of Visitors on Sept. 16, puts the Charlottesville campus in line with 13 other campuses that reversed course on raising tuition for the current academic year. 

Tuition was set to increase for undergraduate students by 4.7%. The university was adamant about implementing the change throughout the semester, going as far as to reject Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s request to freeze tuition.

The Republican Governor asked 13 colleges to settle tuition rates for students as a response to rapid inflation, which peaked at 9.1% in June. 

UVA had been the only institution to ignore the request. Governor Youngkin released a statement the day of the vote to thank the Board for their partnership in working with the administration to offer a flat rate

[RELATED: 27 of top 30 universities are increasing tuition again after COVID-era rate hikes]

“I thank the University of Virginia for working together with us on behalf of Virginia families,” the statement wrote. “I have encouraged colleges to freeze tuition at a time when inflation is hurting so many Virginia families and I appreciate the action of so many Virginia families and I appreciate the action of so many of our public universities across the Commonwealth to keep tuition flat.”

The statement continued, stating:

“Today’s decision demonstrates that we can help ease the burden on Virginia’s students by halting tuition raises and in doing so, provide more opportunities for Virginia students to pursue higher education.”

“Over the past several months, we have done careful work to evaluate the governor’s request and several other key factors that made it easier to proceed with this credit, while maintaining our University’s strong financial position,” Whittington Clement, rector of the University Board of Visitors, told UVA Today. “This step is a positive outcome for the University and for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

[RELATED: Higher education continues to increase tuition despite record-breaking donations]

University President Jim Ryan told UVA Today that the decision to issue the one-time credit is on par with the university’s commitment to “maintaining excellence, access and affordability.”

“By taking the time and evaluating new streams of revenue, we were able to offer this credit in a manner that protects those important priorities,” he said.

The board also voted to approve a one-time credit to UVA Wise undergraduate students. The board originally approved a 3% tuition increase for Wise students and will counter the increase by refunding $182 per student.

UVA Wise Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations Joe Kiser told Campus Reform that “[UVA Wise] considered factors such as the increase in state funding, cost efficiencies, inflation and other economic pressures to determine that a credit could be provided.”

Campus Reform contacted the Youngkin administration, UVA, UVA-Wise, Ryan, and Clement for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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