Commitment to Affordability

Longwood again holds cost increases to historic lows

Citing institutional momentum and the highest percentage enrollment growth of any Virginia public university since 2012-13, Longwood’s Board of Visitors in March approved an increase in undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees of less than 3 percent for the second year in a row—by far the smallest two-year price increase seen at any Virginia public university since 2001-02.

In announcing last year’s increase, President W. Taylor Reveley IV said Longwood aspired to fundamentally change the economics of college affordability, and the announcement attracted notice across the commonwealth. The idea was to draw support from philanthropy and invest in retaining students rather than continuing to ask students and families to fund the seemingly relentless price increases typical across
higher education.

This year, Longwood again demonstrated the strength of that commitment.

“Every year, a four-year college degree becomes more essential for the American dream,” Reveley said. “There are many reasons why college costs have risen, and not all are in our hands. But we are sending a message: We hear loud and clear that over the years ahead, families won’t be able to sustain current national trends of rising tuition prices and student debt, and we will do our share to ensure college remains within reach.”

For 2015-16, Longwood will increase undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees by 2.8 percent. Over the past decade, the average annual increase at Virginia public universities has been nearly 7 percent.

The charge for tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduates carrying a full course load in 2015-16 will be $11,910 per year. Nearly three-quarters of Longwood students receive financial aid to assist with that cost.

The true value of Longwood’s educational program is substantially higher even than the list price. Longwood emphasizes small classes and has the highest proportion of classes taught by full-time faculty of any public institution in the state. Altogether, the resources devoted annually to education at Longwood
exceed the costs borne by students and families by almost $30 million, thanks to public funding and to philanthropy.

“The easy path would be to charge students and families as much as we think they can possibly afford,” said Rector Colleen McCrink Margiloff ’97. “But Longwood is in the business of transforming lives, and so we would rather focus on supporting and mentoring our students to graduation. That’s better for our students, and it’s also the best way to ensure Longwood continues on strong financial footing.”

Out-of-state undergraduates will see the same overall percentage increase in tuition and mandatory fees as in-state students.