The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which evaluates higher education systems, compared tuition rates and fees of 39 Virginia universities as a percentage of median household income in the state and found most schools are asking for a bigger chunk of families’ earnings. (Read the full study here)
The report studied 15 public and 24 private four-year universities in Virginia, comparing in-state tuition rates and fees to median household income from 2005 to 2011 and how much each changed over time. (Tuition rates in this study do not include room and board.)
At 17 of the 39 schools, the study found tuition and fees represent more than 40 percent of the median household income of Virginians: $61,406. In 2005, only 10 state colleges or universities demanded that much of a household’s income.
At $12,328 a year, Virginia Military Institute ranked the highest among public institutions for tuition and fees for 2010-11 and demanded the highest percentage of median household income at 20.4 percent. VMI’s cost has risen 32 percent since the 2004-05 school year.
The College of William & Mary came in right behind at $12,188 a year in tuition and fees, up 48.8 percent from $8,191 in 2004-05. Its price demands 20.2 percent of the median household income.
Christopher Newport University showed the biggest increase in cost over the six-year time span. Tuition rates at CNU jumped 50.8 percent from 2005 to 2011, now costing a little more than $9,000 for the 2010-11, and are 15.3 percent of the median household income.
Most of the public schools increased tuition rates by 30 to 40 percent.
Among the state’s private schools, University of Richmond held the top spot for tuition and therefore percentage of median household income.
Its tuition and fees for 2010-11 were $41,610, up 35.9 percent from 2004-05. That’s 68.9 percent of the median household income in Virginia.
Washington & Lee came in a close second at $40,387, up 35 percent from 2005. That’s 66.9 percent of median household income in the state.
Tuition rates at the state’s private schools jumped from 11 percent to 53 percent.
Bluefield College saw the biggest increase in tuition, jumping 53 percent over that span. The college now costs $18,800 to attend.
Out of the 24 private schools, 21 demanded more than 30 percent of the median household income.
Along with tuition, the universities have also increased spending on administrative costs. All but one public school hiked administration spending by 65 percent, and private schools increased their spending by an average of 49 percent.
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