Keep colleges open to non-Virginians, students say

Published 10:32 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

By Robin Hertel and Rebecca Len/Capital News Service and

RICHMOND–Virginia’s public colleges and universities should keep their doors open to out-of-state students and shouldn’t charge them excessive tuition, student leaders told state officials this week.

That was the message when the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia met with its Student Advisory Committee to discuss the pros and cons of out-of-state students in the commonwealth’s four-year public institutions.

The discussion was triggered by a recent increase of $5 per credit hour in out-of-state student fees. While that represents only a 1 percent boost, many fear that the tuition hikes will not stop there, forcing out-of-state students to reconsider coming to Virginia schools. That would hurt the state’s colleges and universities, members of the advisory committee said.

They said out-of-state students contribute to both the academic and social atmosphere of a college campus.