Dear students, faculty and staff,
Today VCU senior leadership presented its budget recommendations for fiscal year 2021-2022 to the VCU Board of Visitors. This has been a year unlike any other with numerous financial challenges directly related to the pandemic. Even so, the university remains financially stable and able to carry out its educational and research mission.
We are very pleased that for the third year in a row, we recommend a zero percent undergraduate tuition increase. Under public notice requirements, we must provide a range of tuition increases. However, given the economic impact of the pandemic on our students and their families, as well as our focus on affordability and access, we have presented a budget that allows us to freeze undergraduate, graduate, and first professional tuition.
We also recommend a $153 increase in mandatory fees. This includes eliminating the online fee and increasing the technology fee by a net $35. This investment will be applied to more robust technology for learning, teaching and greater access to hardware and software. It also includes increases to the university and health services fees.
All told, typical in-state undergraduate students enrolled in 15 credits per semester would pay $15,028 in tuition and mandatory fees in the 2021-22 academic year. Out-of-state undergraduate students’ tuition and mandatory fees would be set at $36,366.
The proposed budget anticipates a 5% average merit pool increase for faculty and staff compensation. Of note for adjunct faculty, the budget plan includes a 9% increase from $1,100 to $1,200 minimum per credit hour, which represents 20% increase over four years.
The third round of federal stimulus (HEERF III) funding signed into law in March has enabled VCU to allocate more than $28 million to student financial aid and another $28 million to offset lost revenues and expenses due to COVID. We are especially grateful to the General Assembly, whose proposed funding greatly advances VCU’s mission and strategic goals. The budget bill submitted to the governor includes the largest proposed general fund award of $31 million, providing significant support for affordable access and operating funds, support for the salary increases; and it includes an additional $4.6 million increase in student financial aid.
The Board of Visitors invites your feedback on the proposed budget. The full proposed budget as well as the feedback form is available at president.vcu.edu/board/open-comment-portal/. The board will take final action on the university’s FY 22 budget at its May 14 meeting.
Karol Kain Gray
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer