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Tradeoffs Keep Nic Costs Even

The cost to attend North Idaho College will remain the same next school year, the NIC board of trustees decided Wednesday.

Tuition and fees will increase, but changes in other fees will keep the total cost at $490 per semester.

The student government decided to drop the required $91 health insurance plan, and require instead a $6 payment for accident insurance coverage. Students are also tacking on a $4 fee to pay for an outdoor programs coordinator.

NIC has been the only college in Idaho that required students to purchase health coverage. A student survey showed widespread opposition.

The administration, in order to cover rising costs, requested a $25 tuition increase and a $21 fee increase.

Rather than returning the $35 difference to students, the Associated Students of NIC proposed a student services fee increase to help pay off a $690,000 debt on the Student Union Building addition.

“We could give back the $91,” said Ryan Higgins, ASNIC president, but “that would be very bad for the college.”

Instead, the addition could be paid off in one or two years, and students can start planning other campus improvements with the freed-up revenue, he said.

In place of the mandatory health insurance, students will have the option to purchase comprehensive health coverage for $232 annually.

The trustees also heard the new intercollegiate athletic drug and alcohol policy. The policy bans drug and alcohol use by athletes, and provides for drug testing and counseling for student athletes with alcohol or drug problems.

The drug testing provision will not be implemented until the U.S. Supreme Court settles questions about its legality, said athletic director Rolly Williams.