Virginia State University announced Friday that it is reviewing its endowment for the next several years and will seek new sources of capital to invest in education.
The decision comes amid growing concerns about how the university will spend its endowments.
Virginia’s Board of Visitors voted on Thursday to endow $1.5 billion in bonds for the coming years, a move that will bring the endowment to $6.4 billion.
“We are looking at ways to invest more, so we are exploring a number of options for our endowment,” Virginia Board of Trustees Chairman David M. McDonough told the university’s student newspaper, The Washington Post.
The university’s endowment has risen about 50% since 2006, the Post reports.
In 2016, Virginia spent $3.8 billion on endowment investments, and the school is spending nearly $2 billion in the next five years.
The board voted to use its $1 billion in endowment capital to pay for scholarships and to invest some of the money in research.
“Our goal is to ensure that we continue to have the kind of research that is essential for our students to graduate with a degree, and we want to ensure we have the tools to help do that,” Virginia President Vincent C. Gray Jr. said in a statement.
The move comes as a number more states are grappling with the need to save money.
Ohio and Florida are in the process of raising tuition by as much as 10% in a bid to lure students back to the state.
Rick Scott (R) and other Republicans have called for a national tuition freeze.
Some governors, including Republican Gov.
Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, have also called for eliminating public universities, as well as cutting state aid for college and university construction.
The University of California, Berkeley, announced earlier this year that it will no longer offer degrees to students from overseas and that it plans to move its programs to private institutions.
“The UC Berkeley Statement on Higher Education is not a proposal for UC Berkeley to withdraw from higher education in the United States,” the university said in an email.
“But it is not the position of the university to make such a decision.”