VCU proposes no tuition increase, raises mandatory fees

Shirlene Obuobi, M.D. will share her lecture “Narrative Medicine and Identity” at James Cabell Branch Library on Feb. 6. Photo courtesy of CT file photos.

Hannah Eason, Managing Editor

VCU will not raise tuition for the 2020-21 school year but will increase some mandatory fees, according to a university release on Friday.

Full-time, in-state students will pay $14,710 in tuition and mandatory fees, according to the proposed budget, while out-of-state students will pay $36,048. This marks the second consecutive year that tuition has not increased at the university.

Changes in mandatory fees include:

  • $102 increase to the university fee
  • $10 increase to the library fee
  • $2 increase to the technology fee
  • $30 increase to the Capital Outlay Fee for out-of-state students

The budget does not include increases to student health or student activity fees. In-state students will pay $2,616 in mandatory fees – an increase of $114 – and out-of-state students will pay $3,306.

VCU President Michael Rao said in the release that while the university is facing an “unprecedented budget challenge,” the tuition freeze is reflective of the financial hardships of students in their families amid the coronavirus. 

“Our students and their families have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis,” Rao said. “Many students and their parents have lost their jobs and face tough financial situations that threaten their plans to start or continue their college educations.”

VCU received $10 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, which will be allocated to students facing financial hardships during the pandemic. Students can apply for the VCU COVID-19 emergency relief funding online or call 804-348-5073 with questions. 

The housing rate for each dorm will increase by a range of $222 to $346. The cost of all dining plans will increase; the cost of a 300-swipe plan with 100 dining dollars will increase by $135 to $2,560. The rate for each residence hall and dining plan can be found in the proposed budget online.

The release states the fee increases are a result of additional costs, health benefits and the university’s need to provide services in multiple formats as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Board of Visitors will vote on the proposed budget on June 5.

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