Following historic enrollment at the University of Vermont this fall, President Suresh Garimella is asking the UVM’s Board of Trustees to freeze tuition next year
If approved, it would be the fourth consecutive year in which UVM did not raise tuition for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students. Garimella said it would help more students graduate on time and reduce their student loan debt.
“At a time when families are still finding their way out of the economic stress of the pandemic, it’s important that we renew our commitment to student affordability and access,” said Garimella.
Sam Pasqualoni, president of the Student Government Association, says he’s graduating in the spring. By the time he gets his diploma, it’s likely he’ll pay the same tuition he paid when he first started at UVM.
“A big part for me was actually affordability,” said Pasqualoni. “I think this is a positive announcement and a great precedent to set. This is something we can look fondly on as an indication of care for our students.”
UVM freshman Caitlin Parker says the freeze is food news amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s really kind of helpful and nice to have that almost kind of like a safety net behind us,” said
Eleanor Miller, the president of UVM’s faculty union, United Academics, says the proposal is reassuring for educators as well. “UVM’s fiscal situation seems to have improved so that some of the cost cutting to academic programs and staff that happened last year that have been proposed won’t be necessary anymore,” said Miller.
In his 2022-23 budget, Garimella is also proposing to freeze undergraduate students’ comprehensive fee and reduce it for graduate students by $250. Room and board costs will remain flat for the third year in a row.
Garimella says while its not easy to freeze tuition with minimal financial support from the state, getting a diploma shouldn’t be out of reach for students.
“Annual tuition increases, even modest ones, are not the solution to the budget pressures facing colleges and universities. And, it isn’t not prudent nor is it practical to expect students and families to absorb continually rising costs,” said Garimella.