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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Lowest tuition increases in 15 years OK’d for Idaho universities

Idaho’s state Board of Education has approved the lowest tuition increases for the state’s four-year colleges and universities in the last 15 years, ranging from 1.7 percent to 3.5 percent for undergraduate resident tuition and fees next year. Boise State University, the University of Idaho and Eastern Idaho Technical College all will have 3.5 percent increases. Idaho State University students will see a 3.3 percent increase. And Lewis-Clark State College students will see a 1.7 percent increase.

The state board unanimously approved the increases at its meeting this morning in Moscow.

Emma Atchley, state board president, said, “We know cost is a significant barrier to higher education so we have worked with our college and university leadership to minimize tuition and fee increases for our students.” Most of the tuition and fee increases are to cover costs for salary and benefit increases approved by state lawmakers this year, but not fully funded from state funds.

“We are balancing making higher education as affordable as possible and providing the programs students need to be employable, but we cannot expect them to carry the entire burden of additional costs,” Atchley said.  “We understand the state budget process is one of balancing competing priorities, and we appreciate the support we have received from Gov. Otter and the Legislature. Significant support from the state in the future will be key if we are going to provide education opportunities to meet the 60% goal and the workforce demand in Idaho.”

The state board’s goal is that 60 percent of Idahoans age 25 to 34 have degrees or certificates beyond high school by the year 2020, but the state has a long way to go to reach that mark. State board members noted that tuition and fees now cover just 48 percent of the operating costs at Idaho’s state colleges and universities, though they remain affordable compared to other western states.

The University of Idaho released a detailed breakdown of its tuition and fees hike: Resident undergrad tuition and fees will rise 3.5 percent, or $236, to $7,020 next year; non-resident undergrad 3.5 percent or $710 to $21,024; resident graduate students will pay 4.3 percent more, a $340 increase to $8,222; and non-resident graduate students will see a 3.8 percent hike, an $814 increase, to $22,226.

The U of I estimated the increase will give the university $2.7 million in increased revenue over the current year’s budget.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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