Following Gov. Youngkin's call, this university reversed its tuition increase

The university will issue a one-time credit to students, offsetting the 3% tuition increase initially approved for the 2023 fiscal year.

The college is the latest Virginia school to agree to Governor Youngkin’s summer plea to in-state universities to freeze tuition rates.

In a move to reverse its tuition increase, George Mason University’s (GMU) Board of Visitors voted to issue a credit to undergraduate students during Thursday’s board meeting

The credit will be issued during the fall and spring semesters to offset the 3% tuition increase initially approved for the 2023 fiscal year, equivalent to $285 for full-time students.  

“Fall credits will be posted by mid-November,” the board meeting notes read. “Spring credit will post along with Spring tuition charges.”

The decision trimmed tuition for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to $9,510 for in-state undergraduates. 

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

The Fairfax campus is the latest Virginia school to agree to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s summer plea to in-state universities to freeze tuition rates to combat economic hardship put on students as inflation spiked to record rates.

Youngkin praised GMU for its actions in a Sept. 29 statement:

GMU was preceded in reversing tuition increases for in-state students by 14 other public universities. Most in-state campuses agreed to hold off on spiking tuition rates in July, and the University of Virginia announced in September it would offer a one-time credit to students to reverse its tuition hike.

“Mason has always championed the ideal of holding tuition for students as low as possible,” GMU President Gregory Washington said in a written statement.

[RELATED: REPORT: Inflation, tuition hike make life unaffordable for these students]

The credit will pose economic difficulty for the Virginia university. Washington alleged in his statement that the university receives “substantially less funding per student than any of our fellow four-year doctoral universities in Virginia.” 

The credit also creates a $5.8 million deficit for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

“This year’s original increase was the result of a careful effort to strike a balance between maintaining a quality experience for students while limiting the economic impact on Virginia families,” Horace Blackman, Rector of the Mason Board of Visitors, said in a written statement. “Mason will now work to rebalance operations based on this new cut, with our commitment to minimize negative impacts to the community.”

Campus Reform contacted GMU, Washington, the Board of Visitors, and Youngkin for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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