The University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors approved tuition and fees for the 2023-24 academic year at its May 18, 2023, meeting. Undergraduate tuition will remain the same in the coming year. Graduate tuition will increase 3%, and the auxiliary comprehensive fee and housing and dining fees for all students will increase by 5%.
UMW’s tuition and fee rates are one part of the equation to begin the year with a balanced budget, a requirement for public colleges in Virginia. In addition, the University relies on the state budget, and in recent years has pulled in reserve funding, particularly during the pandemic when enrollment varied.
All three strategies will once again result in a balanced budget to start fiscal year 2024, overcoming a deficit of nearly $7 million. The total is due to inflationary cost increases and changes in base expenses, primarily in energy and dining charges; state-mandated increases in salaries and health insurance premiums as well as minimum wage and administrative system charges for financial, human resources and information technology services; and adjustments to revenue sources from enrollment.
UMW’s Board of Visitors began discussing potential increases in tuition and fees in February 2023, with a public comment period with the Board. The University also hosted staff and faculty budget forums, and an SGA and UMW administration joint forum on the budget and tuition setting on April 10.
“This is an incredibly important decision for our University and for our students and families who invest in their education here. We’ve taken the time to understand where we are historically, as well as among our Virginia peer institutions and where UMW might be positioned in the future. We’ve been creative and strategic in finding solutions while maintaining the high quality for which UMW is known,” said UMW Board of Visitors Rector Devon Cushman ’93.
UMW has already made efforts to reduce costs. The Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program will save almost $1.1 million. Expense reductions have been implemented across all divisions, equating to just over $2 million in cost savings. The fees and graduate tuition increase will counterbalance inflationary costs of about $1.8 million. The remaining amount of $2 million will come from University reserves for now, pending any further support from the state budget, which currently includes a match for just a portion of the mandated increases.
UMW’s undergraduate tuition will remain the same for 2023-24 at $8,938 for in-state undergraduate students and $25,858 for out-of-state undergraduate students.
This focus on high-quality, attainable undergraduate education continues to be one of UMW’s hallmarks, with recent recognitions by Washington Monthly for “Best Bang for the Buck” and U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 150 national liberal arts colleges, public and private, and 11th among public liberal arts and sciences universities. UMW also provides nearly $40 million annually in financial aid to help students pursue their academic goals, and with recent support from the state via the 2022-23 budget as well as generous gifts from alumni and supporters, has set the stage for continued success in the liberal arts and sciences.