State Relations

January 31, 2010

Managing Tuition & Keeping Tuition Manageable

One of the top priorities on the UW’s 2010 legislative agenda is the ability to manage tuition during this time of limited state resources.  Any conversation about tuition is tough (remember last year?), and this time is no exception.  This year, though, the University wants to have a more realistic and reasonable conversation around higher education finance. 

Local authority isn’t just about raising tuition, it’s about keeping tuition manageable and more predictable for students.  That’s why, in addition to tuition caps, the UW’s legislative agenda also proposes an increased commitment to student financial aid and other accountability measures.

President Emmert testified before the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee on Jan 20th in favor of granting the ability to manage tuition to the state’s public universities. Here are excerpts:

The funding model is broken:

Is there a floor to state support, which is now less than tuition revenue in the university’s budget?

Current bills in the Senate related to tuition: SB 6562/HB 2946 (Kilmer), SB 6276(Jacobsen), SB 6625(Zarelli) and SB 6509 (Shin-HECB).

Other items of note:

*Editorial in the Everett Herald , Seattle Times, and the Olympian support allowing institutions more flexibility in managing tuition.

*Worried about furloughs?  SB 6503 has been moving quickly through the legislature over the past week. The University has been fully engaged in this conversation.  The University’s mission and unique funding structure make furloughs expensive and difficult to administer.  Several changes were made to the original bill that provide additional flexibility for the University to make additional budget cuts without using furloughs.   We continue to follow the bill closely.