Board of Trustees postpones vote on next year’s tuition rate

The Board of Trustees did not approve next year’s tuition rate at their October meeting, departing from last year’s initiative to move the vote earlier in the year.

Trustees approved the tuition for this academic year in October 2018, taking advantage of a federal rule that allows students to apply for financial aid earlier in the year using the prior year’s tax information. Officials said the decision to defer the tuition vote will bring the University back to its previous standard and allow trustees to receive more accurate budget projections before making the final decision.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said the additional time between October and February, when the board will convene again and likely approve next year’s tuition, will allow officials to receive accurate estimates and information about the financial impact of the strategic planning process. LeBlanc announced the formation of four committees last month to guide GW’s next strategic plan, which officials hope to approve in May.

“We wanted to give the trustees and the administration more time this year, particularly in light of the strategic planning variables, where a lot of things are going to move now this year here in this planning process,” LeBlanc said.

He added that holding the vote later will not greatly affect current high school seniors applying to enroll at GW next year.

“It turns out that the only real difference is the Early Decision students won’t necessarily have a precise dollar amount – it’ll be plus or minus a percentage point,” LeBlanc said.

Last year, trustees hiked tuition for the 12th consecutive year, bringing the cost of attendance above $70,000. Tuition grew by 3.1 percent, consistent with increases approved over the past several years.

Trustees announced this summer that they will eliminate GW’s fixed tuition policy for incoming undergraduate students next year. Experts said in August that while the tuition could temporarily drop for incoming students, officials will now have the flexibility to increase tuition year-to-year as needed to meet the University’s revenue needs.

Jared Gans, Parth Kotak and Ilena Peng contributed reporting.

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