Think Tank Report Says Higher Education Funding In Virginia Is Unfair And Lacks Transparency | Education

More and more students are borrowing to pay for their studies, and they are borrowing more. The average amount borrowed by a student at a Virginia public school has more than tripled from $ 3,000 in 1992 to $ 10,500 in 2018. Adjusting for inflation, the amount of a student loan has nearly doubled .

Of the. Luke Torian, D-Prince William, Head of House Appropriations Committee, took issue with the idea that college funding is not transparent or consistent. Each university has its own formula for determining its needs, he said, and each college has different needs, sizes, and programs. The General Assembly tries to maintain equitable funding according to the demand and needs of each university, but some disparity is inevitable.

“It is up to each institution to make its own request to the Commonwealth and to be able to justify its request to the Commonwealth,” Torian said.

Before the state allocates funds to each of the 15 public universities, each school applies. The governor’s office reviews the request and suggests funding levels. Then, the General Assembly examines the requests and proposals and makes any adjustments it deems appropriate. Universities also submit six-year plans that include general funding requests so that all groups know the institution’s needs.

This system is broken and opaque, said James Murphy, co-author of the report.

Virginia has some of the most expensive tuition and fees in the country, and state funding is dwindling. In 2001, students paid 23% of the cost of public higher education, with the state paying the remaining 77%. But state contributions have declined over the past two decades. In 2019, students paid about half the cost of college education, with the state covering the other half.

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Jennifer Schuman

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