RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University will increase tuition by 3% next fall, a hike that the school says is needed to cover pay raises and higher costs brought on by inflation.

VCU’s Board of Visitors voted Friday to raise tuition for the 2022-23 academic year, despite students asking for costs to remain where they were the previous year. The board also voted to increase its mandatory student fees, which the school says are “among the lowest for Virginia colleges and universities,” by $146.

The increases in tuition and student fees will raise costs for in-state undergraduate students by $524 ($15,642 in total) and by $1,132 for out-of-state undergraduates ($37,588 in total) if they take 15 credits a semester during the year.

“Despite significant and unprecedented challenges, VCU has not raised undergraduate tuition for the past three years,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a statement after the board’s vote.

The university’s proposed budget plan anticipates higher maintenance and utility costs due to inflation. Five-percent salary increases are also required for faculty, staff and adjunct faculty members.

“This decision reflects deep and careful consideration of the needs across our community, with a focus on the quality of educational experiences and services,” Rao continued. “A 3% increase will allow VCU to prioritize the needs of students and continue to support a high-quality educational experience delivered by our deeply committed faculty and staff.”