University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

Board Passes Lowest Tuition Increase in 40 Years

Williams and Old Mill buildings on the UVM campus

The University of Vermont Board of Trustees passed the lowest tuition percentage increase in 40 years at its May meeting, held Friday and Saturday.

Under the resolution approved by the Board, in-state tuition increased $408 or 2.7 percent (from $15,096 to $15,504 per year); and out-of-state tuition increased $960 or 2.5 percent (from $38,160 to $39,120 per year).

The new rates for both Vermont and out-of-state students represent the lowest percentage increases since 1977.

Beyond these historically low increases, the university provides substantial financial aid resources that help keep UVM accessible and affordable for Vermont students.  

For instance, the average amount of financial aid awarded to Vermont students last year was $11,324 – an amount higher than the average discount of $8,384 for national public research universities. More than 90 percent of Vermont students receive scholarships or other types of financial aid.

“The university’s strategy to hold down tuition increases is possible because of our private philanthropic support for scholarships in the comprehensive campaign and because we use more than half of our state appropriation to support Vermont students with scholarships and other financial aid," UVM President Tom Sullivan said.  

Low tuition increases at UVM have helped keep the amount of debt students graduate with well below national figures. In fact, the median debt for Vermont students (among Vermonters who graduated with debt) upon graduation last year was $24,858, considerably below the $30,100 average for students at all public and private non-profit colleges.

Sullivan also pointed out that when scholarships and financial aid are taken into account, 42 percent of Vermont students attended UVM tuition free last year.

In other board news:

Capital Planning update. Robert Vaughan, director of capital planning, gave the full board a report on the capital projects just completed, underway, or about to begin. For the next phase of construction, new pedestrian pathways will be clearly marked and are also viewable in map form at the Office of the Provost’s website. Descriptions and renderings of the new buildings are available on the provost’s site, as well as at the Facilities, Design and Construction website. Projects coming up include:

  • Phase I of the STEM complex, Discovery Hall, and the near completion of the Central Campus Residence Hall & Dining Facility, opening in August. Both projects are on time and on budget, Vaughan said.
  • Phase II of the STEM complex, Innovation Hall, will begin June 1 with the deconstruction of the Cook Physical Science building. The new office and teaching facility, built on its footprint, will be completed by August 2019.
  • The selected renovation of Votey Hall, Phase III of the new STEM complex, is underway and will be completed for the opening of the fall 2017 semester. The building will be closed over the summer.
  • Ifshin Hall, a new addition to the Grossman School of Business, has broken ground and will be completed by August 2018.
  • The renovation of Billings Library has begun, and the construction will be completed by May 2018.  The relocation of the Special Collections from Bailey Howe will occur over the summer of 2018.
  • The construction of the UVM Medical Center’s new inpatient care facility bordering the UVM campus broke ground in April 2016 and will be completed by July 2019.

New degree programs. A number of new degree programs were approved by the EPIR committee on Friday and by the full board the next day. They include:  

  • A new minor in Public Policy Analysis in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • A new undergraduate Certificate in Physical Activity Promotion in Children and Youth in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • A new Certificate of Graduate Studies in Agroecology.
  • A new minor in Education for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the College of Education and Social Services
  • A new undergraduate Certificate of Computer-Aided Engineering Technology in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.
  • A new Quantitative Reasoning General Education Requirement.

Update on UVM’s innovation/entrepreneurial ecosystem. Provost David Rosowsky and Vice President Richard Galbraith gave a presentation to the EPIR committee on building and sustaining an entrepreneurial ecosystem to support and increase innovation, and enhance state and regional economic growth. The Office of the Vice President for Research is committed to supporting the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by marshalling the efforts of faculty, staff, and students; by working to identify the gaps in technology and other areas of the economy and attempting to fill them; and by providing direct financial support to local initiatives, entities and events related to innovation and entrepreneurship whenever possible.

Marketing and communications update. Vice President for Enrollment Management Stacey Kostell, Vice President for University Relations and Administration Tom Gustafson, and Creative Communications Director Amanda Waite provided an update on communications work that has strengthened the capacity of communicators across campus, increased engagement with the University’s audiences, and raised UVM’s profile on the national and international stage.

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