During the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, universities nationwide have received and continue to receive questions about tuition and fees as more courses and programs are being delivered online or synchronously via technology. Universities have strategically balanced the need to ensure the health and safety of their students, faculty, and staff while assuring academic continuity, student support services, and administrative functions.  

In March 2020, Utah Valley University was already making progress on its digital transformation initiative aimed at providing an engaging, supportive, flexible, and inclusive student experience and optimizing learning. Since then, university resources have been deployed to upgrade nearly every classroom with technology to enable lecture capture and livestreaming. Facilities staff have implemented new sanitation practices and reconfigured classrooms, labs, and public spaces to provide for social distancing. Faculty have adapted teaching methods, materials, and delivery modes to ensure students are able to achieve the learning outcomes in each course. 

In early June, the fall 2020 class schedule was revised to implement reduced capacity in face-to-face sections and to provide greater flexibility for remote learning by expanding online and synchronous learning sections. In addition, UVU Online, a new website, was launched to connect students with important information. UVU notified students previously registered for fall semester of these changes to the delivery mode for their enrolled courses. 

UVU’s Vision 2030 articulates UVU’s ongoing commitment to improving accessibility, flexibility, and affordability for all current and future UVU students. To help improve affordability (and in some cases alleviate added pressure on the UVU students caused by COVID-19), the university

  • Launched the Greenlight and UVU Reach scholarships to assist students in need of financial support.
  • Implemented CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid grants.
  • Reviewed and removed course fees for some online and livestreamed courses.
  • Reduced parking fees for students coming to campus.
  • Waived 25% of general student fees for the fall 2020 semester.

UVU’s revenue consists of two primary sources — state tax funds and tuition. In June, the legislature reduced UVU’s tax funds by 2.5% (over $3 million). UVU has the second-lowest tuition and fees of any four-year public university in Utah, but over 53% of UVU’s revenue is generated through tuition. As a teaching institution, nearly 70% of revenues are directed to instruction, library, academic support, and student services. The remaining expenditures include administrative services, information technology, and facilities. Like most other universities, the majority (84%) of UVU’s expenses are personnel expenses to pay faculty and staff wages and benefits.  

This fall, UVU’s facilities are open, and support services are available on-campus and remotely. Faculty are fully engaged in providing high-quality instruction to support student learning.  Students have access to the library, computer labs, software, tutoring, mental health, financial aid, advising, and many other programs and services.

Our ongoing commitment to accessible and affordable higher education that is relevant in the 21st century translates to a great return for our graduates. In August, Business Insider ranked UVU third in the nation for return on investment, measured as the ratio of earnings to the average cost of attendance. 

As in the past, UVU appreciates the investment taxpayers make in higher education and recognizes the financial challenges students and families face in paying for college. We continue our commitment to being fiscally vigilant in containing tuition and fees and in stewarding the resources we receive. Above all, we remain committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities for all students who want to receive a rewarding postsecondary education.