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Tuition, fees approved by visitors for 1998-99

By David Nutter

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 22 - February 26, 1998

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors today approved the tuition-and-fee policy for the 1998-99 school year that still keeps Virginia Tech's total cost package as one of the lowest in the state while providing the resources necessary to vastly improve the quality of student life on campus.
Under the policy adopted by the board, Virginia resident undergraduates will pay $3,500 a year to attend Virginia Tech, the same as last year.
The board also voted to raise tuition for out-of-state undergraduates by $288, rising from $10,464 to $10,752.
"It was necessary to increase tuition for out-of-state residents because the university faced additional costs to fully fund a portion of the faculty salary increase approved by the General Assembly, the operation and maintenance of new facilities coming on line, and meet costs associated with the Year 2000 conversion," said Minnis Ridenour, executive vice president.
The board also adopted an increase in the mandatory comprehensive fee all full-time students pay. The increase was scheduled for this year to fully fund the debt service required to pay for the opening of the new $21.6-million Student Health and Fitness Center. The 118,000-gross-square-foot building will open in September. The comprehensive fee will increase by $122, rising from $647 to $769 a year. Even after the increase, Virginia Tech will still have the lowest comprehensive fee among the 15 public colleges and universities.
The board also approved a $222 increase in room charges and a $34 increase in board charges.
"No one wants to see costs rise, but the state requires students to fully fund the cost of residence halls," said Tech President Paul Torgersen. "Come fall, we will be opening two new residence halls, improving existing facilities and increasing our residence-hall staffing. Not only will our residence halls be newer, they will be better with suite arrangements, better lounges, air conditioning, and carpeting."
Torgersen also said Virginia Tech, even with the increase, has the lowest room-and-board package in the state, ranking fifteenth among the 15 public universities.
The cost for room and board vary, depending on which residence hall and which meal plan a student purchases, but on average, the room-and-board package will increase from $3,420 to $3,676 a year for students who live in a residence hall.
"Our objective," Torgersen said, "is to improve the quality of the student-living experience on campus."
Torgersen said that as part of a comprehensive review of student-living arrangements initiated three years ago, the university will be increasing the number of residence-hall advisors, adding full-time residence-hall directors in the larger halls, and adding graduate-student resident advisors as head advisors.
The two new residence halls total 128,256 gross square feet and will provide 440 beds. The $16.8-million project will open in August. These residence halls replace half-century-old hall that will be converted to academic space.
The board also approved the tuition package for graduate students. For in-state students, tuition will remain the same at $4,122 a year. Non-resident graduate students will see their costs rise by $180, from $6,552 to $6,732.
Students in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will also see a slight increase in tuition. Tuition for Virginia and Maryland residents will rise $228, from $7,620 to $7,848. Tuition for students who are neither residents of Virginia or Maryland will rise $602, from $20,086 to $20,688.