Boise State was able to cover the 6 percent holdback it took this fall from its reserves, BSU President Bob Kustra told lawmakers this morning, but he said, "Of great concern is a permanent base reduction for 2011." He noted that 10 years ago, the state general fund covered about 76 percent of BSU's cost of education, while tuition covered 24 percent; today, the state pays for 57 percent, and tuition covers 43 percent. "So you can see tuition playing a larger and larger role," he said. For out-of-state students, tuition covers the full cost of education, but not for Idaho residents. "Obviously the budget is tough these days, and we realize that," he said. Kustra said he's concerned that America is "losing ground every day" in competing with the rest of the world on higher education. "These are not easy challenges to deal with," he said. "What really concerns those of us in public higher education is that we not lose this momentum."