How to wrap a tuition increase

UVA’s Board of Visitors approved a tuition increase on April 12. That means UVA in-staters will pay 8.3 percent more per year ($655) in tuition and fees, bringing their yearly total to $16,133; out-of-staters are due for 7 percent more ($1,805), yielding a $35,383 annual total.

Luckily, nobody puts a positive spin on a tuition increase like the pros at UVA. Aspiring future leaders of American higher ed, take note: These five steps will ensure that a tuition raise will be under the rug in no time.

5. Flash the money. Eight digits is ideal. The same day as the tuition raise, do like UVA and announce a $100 million donation from a semi-famous billionaire. At least create a new school with a flashy name that includes the word “leadership.”

4. Embed the link. When you notify people of the tuition change on your website, make sure the headlining is unsuggestive, like: “Board of Visitors sets tuition for coming year.” Also, locate it unobtrusively under bold video link of aforementioned big event.

3. Up the police presence. Sidearms, sniper roof patrols, bulletproof vests, whatever. Just act like you’re eating creme brulee with a goddamn Kennedy in the Dome Room and never mind the tuition hike—the meeting day will be such a zoo folks will be happy to make it out alive.

2. Reinforce the message. Remind tuition-payers that cost increases are inevitable and incremental increases are just part of the restructuring ride. Don tie in school colors, grin, repeat: It’s all part of the plan.

1. Blame it on the poor kids. More tuition funds mean more money for financial aid programs. ($54 million will go to AccessUVA next year.) Only the selfish will argue.

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