Schulz says tuition stays the same; student fees to be reevaluated

Health, dean, advising offices will have limited in-person services; officials say they want to continue to fund student employment



WSU President Kirk Schulz said he acknowledges the financial hardships of students and families, but tuition dollars fund the valuable educational experience at WSU. 

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

WSU will not reduce tuition for any students, WSU President Kirk Schulz confirmed Friday afternoon in an online town hall. 

“I would ask our Coug family to remember we’re also in the midst of a pandemic, and the university is cutting back on a lot of our expenses,” Schulz said. 

WSU updated more than 4,000 live viewers on the decision to move classes online for fall, a choice that came after the school publicly planned for campus reopening

Tuition & Fees

Schulz said he acknowledges the financial hardships of students and families, but tuition dollars fund the valuable educational experience at WSU. 

“It’s a different experience, but we still have a lot of the same costs if not more,” Schulz said.  

The university will reevaluate student fees, said Mary Jo Gonzales, vice president of Student Affairs. 

Officials plan to send an update on which fees will continue and which will be reduced or eliminated by Aug. 7, she said. 

“We’re here to support you in any way we can,” Gonzales said. 

The campus employs many students who are often paid with student referendums and fees, she said, so the university does not want to reduce funding for student employees. 

Mary Wack, vice provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, said students who qualified for federal financial aid before the pandemic will continue to be eligible through the fall semester. 

A student’s loans and scholarships should remain the same if they stay at their WSU campus, Wack said. If they change to another campus, financial offices will evaluate aid on a student-by-student basis. 

Should a student defer their enrollment, the university will honor all WSU-sponsored scholarships when they return to campus, Wack said.  

Fall Campus Services

Jill Creighton, associate vice president & dean of students of the Division of Student Affairs, said a campus health promotion team will introduce “Healthy Cougs.” 

This program will educate students on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, Creighton said. 

The Office of the Dean of Students will remain open for in-person and online communication, Creighton said. The Access Center is also open for online and limited in-person appointments. 

Recreation and fitness spaces are currently open and align with state and local health guidelines, Creighton said. 

“As long as we are allowed to be open, we will be open,” Creighton said. 

The Student Entertainment Board will host several virtual entertainment events during the semester, Creighton said. This includes private live performances from comedians, musicians and other artists.

Multicultural Student Services, the Women*s Center and GIESORC will establish “virtual affinity spaces” for students involved in these communities to interact. 

One example of this, Creighton said, is the ‘Harpy Magazine’ from the Women*s Center, an online magazine highlighting students’ perspectives on social justice issues.

If students meet the needs for on-campus living, limited food options and other residence services will be available, Creighton said. 

“These plans are absolutely still evolving,” she said. 

Sports & WSU Athletics

WSU Athletics will continue to evaluate its policies for student-athletes and Pac-12 events, Schulz said. 

WSU will update the community on plans for games in the next six weeks, he said. 

“We may have to play football games, soccer games, volleyball games, without the fans that are there that are a real part of the collegiate athletic experience,” Schulz said. 

The school will follow the lead of other PAC-12 schools, as well as the state and local health guidelines. However, he said, if they cannot guarantee safety for student-athletes, they will make the choice to shut down. 


Gonzales said students who stay at their permanent residence this fall will satisfy the first-year live-in requirement. 

WSU Housing asked students to stay home, especially if coming from a high-transmission area for COVID-19, Gonzales said. 

“What we didn’t want to do was bring everybody back, put everybody in residence halls, go that way, and then figure out in three weeks that it just wasn’t going well,” Schulz said. 

Students may defer or cancel their housing contract until Aug. 7, Gonzales said. 

If students do cancel, it will not guarantee them a dorm next semester should the school reopen in spring 2021. Those who do not cancel their contract will ensure a spot in the residence halls for spring. 

More information on housing situations can be read about here

Greek Recruitment & Housing 

Creighton said recruitment opportunities moved online and students can register by Aug. 1. Those interested in recruitment can participate online as well. 

“We have many, many opportunities to engage,” Creighton said. 

Gonzales said students who do not know the status of their Greek housing should reach out to the chapter presidents and housing core managers, as WSU does not have control over Greek housing. 

WSU will host an all-campus student town hall on Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Registration details will be released soon, Creighton said.