Mason’s BOV Increases Tuition and Fees to Satisfy State Mandate

Posted: May 8, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

At its final meeting of the academic year, Mason’s Board of Visitors (BOV) voted to raise tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students by $672 for the upcoming 2008-09 academic year. The BOV’s decision also includes increases in tuition and fees for other categories of students. At the same time, need- and merit-based financial aid has been increased.

This decision allows Mason to invest in academic excellence, scholarships for students, faculty and staff salary increases, expanded teaching spaces and research, as well as fund an increasing share of its operating budget as the percentage funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to decline.

“As the governing body of George Mason University, the Board of Visitors has a responsibility to ensure the teaching and research mission at the university is funded. In our judgment, the proposed state funding was inadequate to support this core mission and, therefore, this action was necessary,” said BOV Rector Ernst Volgenau.

Despite the increase, Mason’s tuition will remain lower than nearly half of Virginia’s other four year colleges and universities. Tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students attending Mason will be $7,512 per year.

In making this decision, the BOV acknowledged the Virginia General Assembly’s efforts to maintain accessibility for all qualified undergraduates and said the university will continue to work with the General Assembly to support this effort.

“George Mason University continues to work closely with the governor’s office and with the state legislature to seek ways to help us maintain a reasonable level of cost for prospective students,” said Volgenau.

“But as one of Virginia’s fastest growing institutions of higher learning, George Mason must have its needs balanced against the realities of maintaining the highest level of standards in order to provide our students and region with outstanding faculty and the best facilities we can.”

The vote to increase tuition and fees was part of the BOV’s overall approval of the 2008-09 operating budget, which totals $889.3 million.

Budget highlights for 2008-09 include the following:

  • A projected increase in student enrollment of 2.3 percent. The projected headcount is 30,900 students. A total of 4,805 students will be living on campus, an increase of nearly 400 over the current year.
  • The total operating budget will increase 5.3 percent over the budget for 2007-08.
  • Support from the state for the equipment trust fund increases by $487,000, bringing the total to $3.5 million.
  • Faculty and staff salary increases are budgeted at 2 percent. This budget includes funding to support additional merit-based salary increases. The state provides one-half of the 2 percent salary increase.
  • Sponsored research activity will increase by 7 percent as it attains a record spending level at Mason of $82 million.
  • Capital outlay spending will be approximately $265.8 million, the largest amount in Mason’s history. This is 121 percent higher than what was allocated in 2007-08.

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