Board of Regents consider 2.5% bump in tuition for next year

Board of Regents discuss tuition increases; university-approved housing



The Board of Regents met to discuss tuition increases on Feb. 1, 2023

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

WSU’s Board of Regents meeting brought up a new tuition proposal and revision to the university undergraduate housing requirement. 

According to data presented by Matt Skinner, senior associate vice president for Finance and Administration, total system enrollment has gone down for the third consecutive year in a row. As of fall 2022, enrollment is down 4000 students since fall 2019. 

Skinner said between 4%–6% is the estimated drop next year. 

In the fall of 2024, there will only be 26,281 students enrolled at WSU. With the lack of enrollment, tuition for students is projected to go up by 2.5%, according to the data presented.

Skinner said the reason the school wants to implement the tuition increase is they want to lessen the need for deeper budget cuts for the next school year.

Tuition for resident undergraduates may increase by no more than the average annual percentage growth rate in the median hourly wage for Washington for the previous 14 years as the wage is determined by the federal bureau of labor statistics, said Kelley Westhoff, executive director, Budget, Planning and Analysis, according to the current law for Undergraduate Resident rate increases (RCW 28B.15.067).

The law also includes that the governing boards of state universities may reduce or increase full-time tuition fees for all students other than resident undergraduates. 

With this, WSU plans to raise tuition prices for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

The proposed changes include undergraduate students who are Washington state residents will have to pay $268 more per year. Undergraduate students that are non-residents of Washington state will have to pay $660 more. Graduate students that are Washington state residents will have to pay $309 more. Finally, graduate students that are not Washington state residents will have to pay $679 more. All of these changes even out to a 2.5% increase, Skinner said.

Skinner said the Washington College Grant program will guarantee financial assistance for those eligible undergraduate students who will struggle with this change. 

The awards from the grant would vary based on the student’s family income or family size and the maximum award for this would pay for the full tuition.

“There should be no impact on affordability for our students and family with the most need,” Skinner said. 

Another item brought up at the Board of Regents meeting was the proposed revision of WSU’s undergraduate housing requirement. 

Ellen Taylor, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said the goals of this meeting would be to clarify the rules surrounding the First Year Living Requirement improve the university’s ability to respond to student needs and completely remove the option for first-year students to live off-campus. 

Originally, University Approved Housing, “has been in place for a number of years allows for a limited number of first-year students who are otherwise required to live in our on-campus resident halls to live in an approved fraternity or sorority.” 

During the pandemic, however, University Approved Housing was suspended because of WSU’s COVID-19 measures and evaluated by staff, students and alumni affiliated with the Greek community in 2021. 

“Based in part with their recommendations, but not entirely, also based on our review of the literature, peers, legal advice and various other things we decided to recommend permanently discontinuing the UAH program,” Taylor said. 

This would go into effect as of the beginning of fall 2023. 

“We alerted them [Greek Community] to this anticipated change in February of 2022 to give them a full year and a half to start to plan for that impact,” Taylor said. 

“This is to ensure a successful transition from high school into college,” Taylor said.