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Becka Johnson
Higher Education Policy Analyst
UW Office of Planning & Budgeting

At the UW, state funds, tuition revenue, and designated operating funds are used to fund central university operations. Between Fiscal Year 2009 and 2012, state funding for the UW was cut in half. The beginning of the 2013-15 (FY14 and FY15) biennium marks the first time the state has provided new resources for higher education in several biennia; in fact, it marks the first year in decades that the UW has been able to freeze resident undergraduate tuition.

This page centralizes information about the UW budget from multiple sources. State budget details are provided via Planning & Budgeting briefs and details about requests for state funding can be found here. Annual budget discussion information is available here. Be sure to visit the pages listed to the right and subscribe to the OPBlog, where you will get the most up-to-date information about the UW budget and more.

A new funding paradigm

State funding comprises a small percentage of the UW’s multibillion-dollar annual budget; however, alongside tuition revenue, it is a primary support for the UW’s core instructional mission. In addition, state funds are leveraged to secure outside research, medical and philanthropic funding that create discovery, jobs and overall economic impact for the state.

State funding per student FTE dropped significantly over the past five years, from $11,270 (FY08) to $4,820 (FY13); however, with the appropriation for FY14, state funding per FTE will increase to $5,670. This represents a 17.6 percent increase in state funding per FTE over FY13.

Although this added support means total per-student funding in constant dollars will be approximately $1,000 higher in 2014 than it was in 1990, the state will cover only 30% of that funding level in 2014, compared to 82% in 1990. This is a major shift in the UW funding model.

  • 1990: Funding per student was $17,000 – the state paid 82% and the student 18%
  • 2014: Funding per student will be approximately $18,000 – the state will pay 30% and the student 70%

This shift necessitated significant tuition increases in recent years (although, as noted, tuition is frozen for UW resident undergraduates in 2013-14). But this shift also emboldened us to contribute more to
institutional financial aid in order to protect student access. In 2012-13, the UW increased the amount of aid available to low- and middle-income families by 41%, or $18.5 million.

  • Almost $64 million from the UW goes toward financial aid for low- and middle-income families.
  • Continuing commitment of the Husky Promise program. About 9,200 students pay no tuition and fees through Husky Promise last.
  • Over 14,000 students receive grant assistance to attend the UW.


Video overview of rapid decline in state support

A defining moment – External Affairs Vice President Randy Hodgins and State Relations Director Margaret Shepherd talk about the unprecedented decline in state funding for the University of Washington and share facts about higher education and the UW’s impact today and in the future.

The video (10:55) is also available on the Husky YouTube channel.

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