MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University budget administrators are considering another tuition increase for undergraduate and graduate students next fall as they wait to hear how much state funding the state's largest university and its regional campuses will lose.
The amount is currently expected to be about $13.3 million, Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese told the Board of Governors on Friday, but declining state revenues could still change that.
The extent of the cuts will be clear once the Legislature approves the new state budget, likely around April 15, he said.
If tuition rates are raised, Weese said, WVU would also raise scholarship funding to try to help keep college within financial reach of many families.
And even with another increase, he said, WVU remains among the least expensive flagship state universities in the nation.
WVU's new budget and tuition rates will be presented to the board for consideration at its June meeting in Charleston.
Last summer, the board approved a 5 percent increase in tuition. That raised the total cost from $2,837 to $3,045 per semester for residents, and from $8,922 to $9,434 for nonresident undergraduates at the main campus in Morgantown.
The board also approved a one-time fee of $63 per semester last year to replace all the individual course fees that students were once charged.
Weese said about 63 percent of WVU's budget goes toward salaries and benefits. To help control other expenses, administrators have asked all department heads to carefully review the need to fill vacancies, to travel and to replace equipment.
The larger university community has also been asked for cost-cutting suggestions.
WVU President James Clements said he wants to hear new ideas for generating revenue, too.