JMU News

JMU freezes tuition for all students; No increase for 2020-21 academic year

by Caitlyn Read


James Madison University’s Board of Visitors voted today to freeze tuition for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students. This is the second year in a row that JMU has not increased tuition for undergraduate in-state students. JMU continues to offer one of the lowest tuitions in Virginia and to be one of the best values in higher education nationally.

The board also voted on student fees for the 2020-21 academic year. The comprehensive fee for students will increase by $62 per semester ($124 annually), and the room and board fee will increase by $192 per semester ($384 annually). The fee increases are necessary to cover cost factors such as operating costs and contractual obligations, debt service obligations for new facilities, and student services.

For the majority of our students, a typical in-state full-time undergraduate commuter student will pay $12,330 in tuition and mandatory fees in the 2020-21 academic year. Out-of-state undergraduate students will pay $29,230. Senior level students will pay slightly less. These decisions ensure that JMU remains an outstanding value. Despite receiving the lowest funding among all public four-year institutions in the Commonwealth on a per in-state student basis, JMU’s in-state tuition currently ranks 11th out of the 15 Virginia public institutions.

“The action taken today by the Board of Visitors is reflective of the care we have at JMU for our students and families, many of whom are facing financial hardship in the face of the COVID-19 crisis,” said JMU President Jonathan Alger. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, our main goal has been to continue to fulfill our educational mission and keep students on a path of academic progress. This decision is yet another way in which we will continue to support students in that endeavor and help ensure access to learning.”

As a result of Congress passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, JMU has been allocated $6 million in emergency student aid to assist eligible students who have incurred expenses related to COVID-19. Students can learn more at the JMU Cares Act Student Emergency Aid website. In addition, the university has received more than $560,000 in donations in recent weeks to support students who are facing financial hardship and who may be at risk of having to leave the university due to financial circumstances.

Based on what is known today, JMU is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations in the fall of 2020. Planning efforts are underway to ensure that upon students’ return to JMU, the university is prepared to be as proactive as possible in protecting our community’s health. A Contingency Planning Task Force, including leadership from the University Health Center as well as representation from across all divisions, is working to address questions about what living, learning, and dining arrangements on campus may look like in the fall.

Media Contact: Caitlyn Read, 540-560-0551,

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Published: Friday, May 15, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, May 15, 2020

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