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Mace & Crown | September 25, 2017

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Old Dominion University's Student Tuition Increases

Daija Marrow | Contributing Writer

On April 27, the Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University confirmed an increase in 2017-18 tuition rates by $300. For the first time in University history, the student health, transportation and general service fees will remain the same upon a tuition increase.

This change was made after the opening of the Summer and Fall 2017 registration term, when more than 50 percent of perspective and current students have already registered for courses. The increase in tuition wasn’t widely made clear to the student body until the April 28 University Announcements email.

Students on campus voice their discontent. “Even if I knew [about the increase] I would have still signed up for classes, I just wish [the University] would have let me know beforehand,” said rising senior Mikelund Bellomy, 22. “I haven’t even seen what the school plans on spending that money on.”

Wishing that she had more of an explanation as to where the money is going, junior Jennifer Brilvitch, 20, said, “That was definitely a sour feeling getting the email that tuition was increased.”

In comparison to ODU’s three percent, Christopher Newport University and James Madison University have approved a nearly five percent tuition increase. Norfolk State University has enacted a $160 increase on top of boosted activity fees, while Hampton University has approved $880 in tuition add-ons.

The school’s budget has been strengthening its dependency not only on student tuition and fees, but state general funding as well, with both of the respective funding sources increasing a little over 11 percent since 2013. The University operating budget for the 2016-2017 school year received over 25 percent of its funding from student tuition, and over 24 percent from state general funds.

The board of visitors, who regulate funding on all scales of the university, was the body that approved the tuition increase. The board is comprised of alumni, students, kind donors and faculty, all of whom are chosen by Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe. President Broderick is not among these members, but, along with 20 other university officials, attends the board’s meetings.

Meetings are held quarterly. In the past, the tuition cost for the upcoming year was discussed as late as June, so this year’s change in fees is not uncharacteristically late.

The University’s spending habits over the past year as well as ODU’s values are taken into consideration when deciding the tuition and fees for the upcoming semesters.