University of Virginia

UVA – differential tuition by any other name

UVA has coined one of the best euphemisms of all time.  But what else would expect from our leading state university?  Instead of calling a planned tuition increase a tuition increase, UVA is calling it an “academic excellence fee.”  This makes you wonder if you can just choose the “average” education and avoid the fee.

The plan is not yet set in stone and has only been reported in the newspapers.  The fee for this academic excellence for juniors and seniors would start at $500 this fall and increase to $2,000 by 2016.  The business  program already has a differential tuition plan in place which we wrote about here.  Engineering students will be asked to pay $2,000 extra as well as a $750 lab fee that exists now.

This fee is in addition to a discussed tuition increase of 2.9%.  This has not yet been approved.

UVAs chief operating officer noted that the planned fees were less than what the market would bear.  That statements holds the answer to the question, “why does college cost so much?” Because they can get away with charging it.

An academic excellence fee.  Really?