Longwood is freezing undergraduate tuition next year for all new and returning students, continuing a commitment to being a leading Virginia public university when it comes to keeping college costs affordable.
Longwood’s Board of Visitors approved the tuition freeze in May—setting 2019-20 tuition at the same level as 2018-19. In addition, the board endorsed returning Longwood to the “tuition by the semester” model that was in place until 2007, which will allow students to take up to 18 credits for the same price as 12 starting this fall.
That change is intended to help more students graduate in four years, and thus reduce their overall college costs, by encouraging them to take a full course load. Research at both Longwood and nationally shows that taking a full course load leads to significantly better academic performance as well as to a faster and more certain pathway to graduation.
Tuition is typically the largest portion of a student’s educational charges. The zero increase was made possible by disciplined budgeting at the university as well as by the tuition moderation initiative of the General Assembly and the governor, which increased funding statewide for higher education in this budget year.
“We know that college is among the biggest and most important investments a family can make, and we know how hard many of our families are working and saving to ensure students have an opportunity to attend an institution like Longwood. That’s why we’ve made it such a priority to minimize cost increases and use scholarship support to increase financial aid and decrease what families have to pay,” said Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV.
Over the prior five years, Longwood’s average annual tuition and fee increases have been the second-lowest of all 15 public four-year universities in Virginia, averaging just 3.3 percent annually for students taking a full credit load— the standard statewide metric.
Meanwhile, Longwood’s financial aid budget continues to increase each year, helping to further hold down the “net price” students actually pay to attend. About 60 percent of Longwood students receive financial aid, with scholarship and grant awards totaling about $18 million annually.
As in recent years and in line with other Virginia institutions freezing tuition this year, there will be a small increase in the mandatory comprehensive fee for next year, which covers auxiliary services such as student health and recreation. That fee will increase by $180, or 3.3 percent from 2018-19.
The “by the semester” tuition model is considered a national best practice and will bring Longwood into alignment with the large majority of Virginia public universities, including UVA, William & Mary, Mary Washington, James Madison and Virginia Tech. Students taking fewer than 12 credits per semester will still be able to pay by the credit.