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UMW prioritizes access and affordability with new scholarship for in-state undergraduates

From UMW:

The President and the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors of the University of Mary Washington announced  the addition of a one-time scholarship to offset a 3% tuition increase for all in-state undergraduate students in the 2022-23 academic year, effectively keeping in-state undergraduate tuition at the same rate for four consecutive academic years.

UMWThe board approved an increase of 3% for undergraduate annual tuition at the June 2022 meeting. In 2022-23, tuition for in-state undergraduate students is $8,938, an increase of $260. The university will provide approximately $700,000 in one-time scholarship funds to offset this increase, supporting Virginia students, while sustaining capacity for existing programs and staffing levels, funding new initiatives and employee raises, and addressing inflationary increases.

This one-time reallocation of current funding is coupled with the state’s impressive investment in the University of Mary Washington, with key new funding for UMW’s arts, career building, faculty and staff salary increases, accessibility, affordability and museums.

“We recognize that as much as our students value their public liberal arts education at Mary Washington, they also must balance rising costs in current economic times. The university has conscientiously approached its budget and its ability to support students as they pursue higher education, while at the same time continuing to invest in the people and place that make this our home,” President Troy Paino noted. “While we know significant financial challenges are still ahead, this is a moment to celebrate the Virginia General Assembly’s historic investment in the University of Mary Washington and our liberal arts and sciences mission.”

Last week, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed into law the 2022-24 biennial budget, which includes $2.1 million in general fund operating resources. The additional state money will benefit students by providing the resources Mary Washington needs to keep tuition and fees as low as possible. The state budget includes increased support of $287,300 in 2022-23 and $1,814,300 in 2023-24 for need-based financial aid for Virginia students.

The budget also calls for employees to receive 5% raises in each of the two years, less than half of which will be funded by the state. The university will need to fund the remainder. All full-time employees also will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus on December 1, 2022.

Construction and Renovations

The newly approved budget will fund the $117 million construction of a new theatre and the renovation of the three buildings of the duPont Fine Arts Center, a longtime UMW priority.

The theatre to be built at the corner of William Street and Sunken Road will establish a new gateway to the campus from downtown Fredericksburg, said Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “This facility will be transformational for the university as it brings renewed currency to our teaching and establishes a welcoming bridge to our community,” Stull said. “As a gateway to the campus, it will foster stronger connections between UMW and the greater Fredericksburg region as it establishes the strongest possible foundation for teaching theatre on our campus.”

That same budgetary package includes money to renovate duPont, Pollard and Melchers Halls. The complex opened in 1952 and underwent renovation in 1993, but there has long been a need for larger, more technologically advanced facilities for the career-building and community contributions of programs in music, studio art and art history. The new theatre and the duPont, Pollard and Melchers renovation will create and adapt facilities to meet the needs of the 21st century, where creativity and technological skills will be in high demand in a digital and global economy.

Enhancing Accessibility

Accessibility throughout campus also gets an infusion of support, with $11.2 million to address accessibility needs over the next several years. The first step will be to identify projects, followed by physical improvements. And the Office of Disability Resources will receive an annual increase of $480,000 to support students, faculty and staff with disabilities.

Associate Provost of Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Shavonne Shorter observed, “We are grateful to receive this funding to make our beautiful, historic campus even more physically accessible for our campus community and guests. This will have a transformative impact on our campus as we make important changes to continue to provide an equitable experience for everyone.”

In addition, James Monroe Museum and Gari Melchers Home and Studio will receive an increase of $500,000 in state support over each of the two fiscal years.

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