West Virginia University received further validation recently that tuition rates have been priced reasonably over the past several years and remain well below the average of some of its national peers.

In a Wednesday (Oct. 5) USA Today story comparing undergraduate tuition at 67 public flagship schools in 50 states, WVU is ranked the 10 th least expensive in-state school, with an annual cost of $4,164or $1,470 less than the average $5,634 tuition at other flagship universities.

In addition, WVU s nonresident undergraduate tuition cost of $12,874 is $3,486 less that the median $16,360 for the schools listed in the survey. This puts WVU as the 14 th least expensive out-of-state school among the 67 surveyed.

While some schools have had to raise tuition by double-digits, WVU has tried to hold the line on increases,said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.Despite recent reductions in state appropriations, we’ve been able to keep tuition competitive through strong financial management, which we know is important to West Virginians.”

Last year, WVU raised resident tuition 6.8 percent; in 2003, WVU had a 9.9 percent increase. In both years, that increase was less than the median increase for institutions in the survey.

Tuition increases for nonresidents during this same time period were about average with others in the survey, approximately 6.7 percent.

Weve been saying for many years now that WVU provides an academically rich, quality educational environment for a reasonable cost,Hardesty said.I think this latest survey validates that WVU is truly one of Americas best educational buys.

As proof, Hardesty pointed to the more than 170 majors to choose from; a legacy of turning out Rhodes, Truman and Goldwater Scholars; attracting some of the nations leading faculty members; providing a rich research and service-learning environment; big-time college sports to enjoy; and a quality student life experience.

WVUs profile is certainly rising,he added.

WVU is the whole package, and we can honestly assure our students and their families that they are getting a valuable educational experience here at a reasonable cost,Hardesty said.

In comparison, heres what other schools in the East Coast region are charging their in-state students:

* Penn State was the most expensive at $11,508, followed by Rutgers with a rate of $11,051.

* Other schoolsrates include: University of Vermont, $10,748; University of Massachusetts, $9,278; Ohio State, $8,082; University of Connecticut, $7,912; University of Maryland, $7,821; University of Virginia, $7,376; University of Delaware, $7,318; and Virginia Tech, $6,378.

WVU was also recently listed in Americas 100 Best Buys, a guidebook that identifies the 100 American colleges and universities providing students the very highest quality education at the lowest cost.

To be considered for the designation, an institution must be an accredited fouryear college offering bachelors degrees, have full residential facilities and dining

services, have a freshman class with a high school GPA and SAT /ACT scores equal to or above the national average, and have an out-of-state cost below the national averageor not exceeding the national average by more than 10 percent.