George Mason Raises Tuition, Fees For 2004-05

Posted: May 6, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

At its final meeting of the year yesterday, George Mason University’s Board of Visitors (BOV) voted unanimously to raise tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students by 6.6 percent for the 2004-05 academic year. This increase raises totals by $336, from $5,112 to $5,448.

The BOV’s action follows similar decisions by George Mason’s sister colleges and universities throughout the commonwealth. These institutions have reported on their tuition and fee increases for 2004-05, and the average increase is 8.1 percent.

“The decision to raise tuition for students is never easy. But in order for George Mason to continue upgrading our facilities and expanding the services we provide students, then it is important that we increase our revenue in a way that is most compatible with support we receive from the state,” says Mason President Alan Merten.

Merten notes that despite a slowly recovering economy, Virginia’s policy regarding funding higher education continues to shift the cost of higher education onto the student. Students now pay 57 percent of the cost of their education.

In related action, the BOV:

  • Raised tuition and fees for in-state graduate students by $384 (6.5 percent), from $5,880 to $6,264
  • Raised tuition and fees for out-of-state students by $864 (5.7 percent), from $14,952 to $15,816
  • Raised tuition and fees for in-state law students by $644 (6.2 percent), from $10,262 to $10,906
  • Raised tuition and fees for out-of-state law students by $1,120 (5.4 percent), from $20,412 to $21,532

Mason’s increase in tuition and fees will help support a number of initiatives, rising costs, and staffing needs. These include student enrollment growth, class size reduction, financial aid, library funding for research materials, information technology security needs, and faculty salary increases.

“George Mason remains committed to excellence and growth and, ultimately, meeting the academic needs of its students,” says Merten. “We are convinced that this increase will enable us to maintain the quality of education offered at Mason, while still requiring efficient and effective management of our resources.”

In other action, the BOV:

  • Elected next year’s student representatives to the BOV: Cailan Nichols, an economics major, and Bernard Tomsa, a law student
  • Approved changing the name of the Graduate School of Education to the College of Education and Human Development. This academic unit will comprise the Graduate School of Education, the division of Undergraduate Studies in Education, and the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism
  • Approved the following new degrees: MA in Justice, Law, and Crime Policy; PhD in Justice, Law, and Crime Policy; and PhD in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences

    Merten and Meese
    At yesterday’s Board of Visitors meeting, President Alan Merten presented Rector Edwin Meese with a plaque and portrait commemorating his eight years of service on the board.
    Photo by Evan Cantwell

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