In-state tuition for JMU students won’t increase in the 2019-2020 academic year, the University's Board of Visitors decided Friday. This was made possible because of the $52.4 million appropriated by the General Assembly this month to aid in college affordability.
According to Charlie King, senior vice president for administration and finance, this is the first time in nearly 20 years that JMU has been able to hold the line on tuition.
The new state funding has allowed JMU to hold the in-state tuition increase at 0% for the first time in 18 years. The recent Virginia General Assembly session allocated $6.1 million for JMU, part of the $52.4 million to be divided among Virginia universities as part of a deal to incentivize 0% tuition increases for in-state students.
“We are pleased to partner with the policymakers in Richmond to provide this much-needed respite from tuition increases for JMU’s current and future and families,” JMU President Jonathan Alger said. “The commonwealth’s investment in higher education comes at a critical time as JMU continues to respond to the academic needs of our region.”
The Madison Pledge is a strategy that originally planned to steadily increase in-state tuition by $1,000 for the next two academic years, which JMU saw as a necessity as funding from the Commonwealth has been reduced eight out of the last 10 years. The pledge sought to make annual tuition increases predictable for JMU students.
Tuition for in-state students in the 2023 graduating class will remain at $7,250 for the 2019-2020 academic year. This is a change from the planned increase that‘s part of the Madison Pledge, which was deferred by the board to accept the state’s funding. However, all students will be affected by an increase of $190 for the university’s comprehensive fee.
“Overall, the 2019 General Assembly Session was very positive towards higher education,” Michael Thomas, a Board of Visitors member, said. “Unfortunately, tuition for out of state students and auxiliary fees for all students will need to be increased.”
Out of state tuition will increase by $500 for the next year, a rise that’s less than the amount originally planned for 2019-2020 due to the compensation of new state funding. In his report to the Board of Visitors, King expressed his assurance that this increase will be small enough for JMU to remain competitive with its peer universities for out of state students, projecting that the University will rank the 11th-most expensive for out of state students among Virginia’s 15 state universities.
The board anticipates that the additional funds that will be generated from these increases will be used to provide salary increases for university employees, maintain JMU’s 16:1 faculty-student ratio, service debt and address new facilities’ operating costs.
“With rising costs and a growing university, we have always done our best to find the balance between increasing tuition and maintaining affordability,” King said. “The board’s decision today will go a long way to addressing college affordability, not just this year but for years to come. We look forward to working with the General Assembly and the governor in future to continuing this trend.”
Contact Jamie McEachin at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more coverage of JMU and Harrisonburg news, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.