‘Students First’

Board of Visitors tackles Guaranteed Tuition, mental health in latest meeting

On Friday, Nov. 16, the Board of Visitors met at CNU to discuss and vote on a new tuition and fees resolution. Entitled “Captain’s Commitment: Guaranteed Tuition and Fees,” this resolution is an attempt to ensure transparency to the student body about their tuition.

It passed unanimously, with multiple members of the board voicing their support and approval for the resolution. 

BOV member Scott Miller was especially vocal. “In my seven years as a board member, this is the resolution I am most proud of,” he said. 

“This resolution will do the right thing for our students and parents to ensure transparency of tuition and fees.”

The Captains Commitment proposes new tuition and fees for full-time undergraduate students. These tuition rates differ based on residency and class year, but are to be the tuition rate for each class of students until graduation (consistent with Christopher Newport’s Six Year Plan).

The Commitment is a direct response to the trend of rising tuition costs. 

With the cost of attending college increasing over recent years, CNU is not the first or the only college that has had to continually increase tuition for its students. 

However, with the Captains Commitment, CNU becomes the first public Virginia university to include all fees in their tuition guarantee. 

In addition, this is a true guarantee. The Captain’s Commitment acknowledges that expenses or inflation may cause the cost of attending CNU to rise above the rates set by this guarantee. If that should occur, CNU has stated that they will shoulder the additional costs, not the students. So what does this all mean for students?

While there is a tuition increase in this commitment that differs per class year, students will not see a tuition raise as long as they remain on track to graduate within four years.

 This will allow students and their families to create strategies to finance their college education without worrying about tuition costs skyrocketing. Tuition was not the only concern of the Board of Visitors. 

With mental health awareness on the rise, the Board discussed the ability of CNU to respond to students who need assistance with mental health issues.

Dean Kevin Hughes, the Vice President for Student Affairs, highlighted the efforts of the Counseling Center at CNU at keeping students healthy and on-track to graduate.

When dealing with mental health, CNU takes “a multi-layered approach,” according to Hughes. 

The Counseling Center responds to students who are experiencing a crisis and need assistance immediately. Behind the scenes, Student Update Meetings are a proactive measure to monitor students who are deemed to be more at risk for mental health issues by their hall directors or through the Captains Care program. 

These meetings are attended by Student Life faculty and staff such as The Center for Academic Success, Residence Life and CHECS and aim to assist students in their academic or personal issues. 

This multi-layered approach has yielded much success, with around 90 percent of students who have succeeded through this system finishing the semester, according to Hughes. 

Despite the increase in students who are in need of services such as these, Hughes is still hopeful for the future of these students. 

“At least 25 percent of graduating students will use the Counseling Center,” Hughes said. 

This shows that a large number of CNU students are able to manage their mental health issues and graduate on time. 


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