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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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College presidents plead for state funding

SEATTLE – The Legislature doesn’t get back to work for about three months, but leaders of Washington’s public colleges and universities began their fight for a share of dwindling state dollars Wednesday. University presidents and student leaders were in Spokane to present preliminary budget requests for the 2011-’13 biennium to the Higher Education Coordinating Board. The budget priorities adopted by the board in November will help Gov. Chris Gregoire write her budget.

Vestal: Improving job prospects through school has hefty price

Sara Kerbs-Ridenour is a schoolteacher working on a master’s degree in special ed. She’s 24, with three years of experience in the classroom. A Spokane native, she returned to Eastern Washington University for her graduate degree after teaching in Oregon. Since she’s lost her in-state residency, at least for now, she’s facing a tuition bill of some $6,500 per quarter – more than double the in-state rate.

Enrollment rises at state’s public colleges

SEATTLE – Enrollment is up again this fall at Washington’s public universities, despite cuts in state dollars to support their operations. Part of the enrollment jump comes from an intentional increase in out-of-state students, who give a university a financial boost through the much higher tuition they pay.

WSU president rejects across-board cuts

SPOKANE – Facing millions of dollars in budget cuts, Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd said the school needs to make a stronger case about the importance of higher education. “Everything must and should be on the table as we attempt to balance the budget,” Floyd told students in Pullman on Wednesday. But he rejected across-the-board cuts, saying they lead to mediocrity.

Caldwell: Spokane’s higher-ed grades improving

Spokane is not at the forefront of higher education. Lack of a major research institution has consistently been called a weakness as community officials assemble a 21st-century information-based economic curriculum. But the results of two studies released last week suggest the city may be close to earning a midterm “B.” In fact, it may be uniquely blessed.

Spenser Williams, 21

Spenser Williams graduated this spring from Gonzaga University with a degree in math and economics. This past year he had a paid internship with Avista Utilities, working on power analysis. He liked the company and the team he worked with. All he needed was the usual job offer many interns get. Williams found out, however, that nearly every Avista department is facing budget cuts. Hiring interns for full-time jobs has halted across nearly all the utility’s departments, a company spokesman said.

Census says women equal to men in advanced degrees

Women are now just as likely as men to have completed college and to hold an advanced degree, part of an accelerating trend of educational gains that have shielded women from recent job losses. Yet they continue to lag behind men in pay.

Enrollment period ends soon for WA prepaid tuition

The enrollment period for Washington’s prepaid tuition program closes next week. And when enrollment reopens again in the fall, fees are expected to be about 14 percent higher.

UI: Furloughs for 2,600 will save $1.2 million

The University of Idaho plans to implement furloughs for 2,600 employees during the next four months to save about $1.2 million and help offset shortfalls in state funding for higher education.

Hundreds of students weigh their options at college fair

Hundreds of high school students considering their futures flooded the Spokane National College Fair at the Convention Center on Thursday. Representatives from about 170 colleges, universities and vocational schools as well as military branches were there to entice potential candidates. Sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the event included workshops on financial aid, college applications and two- and four-year college transfers.

College tuition is up sharply amid recession

With the economy struggling, parents and students dared to hope this year might offer a break from rising college costs. Instead, they got another sharp increase.

University enrollment climbs

SEATTLE – Enrollment is up at Washington’s public universities this fall, with most of the increase coming from students who decided to stay in school rather than seek their fortunes elsewhere in a down economy. The University of Washington in Seattle, Western Washington University and Evergreen State College are reporting only slight increases in their student count. Washington State University, UW Bothell, Eastern Washington University and Central Washington University all report record enrollment increases.

WSU announces final cuts: 359 jobs, three programs

Washington State University will cut 359 jobs and eliminate three academic programs to deal with severe budget cuts imposed by the state, school President Elson Floyd said Wednesday. The department of theater and dance and the department of community and rural sociology will be phased out, and the German major will be eliminated because of budget cuts of $54 million over the next two years that were imposed by the Legislature. But the sports management program, which had been slated for elimination, will be retained.

Oregon universities expect tuition increases

PORTLAND – Tuition and fees at Oregon’s seven public universities could rise by as much as 13 percent as the schools brace for state budget cuts. Oregon lawmakers are grappling with the numbers to pass a balanced budget by their June 30 adjournment. The state is facing a $3.8 billion gap between expected revenue over the next two years and the cost of continuing existing services.

Quest for perfect college can involve extended travel, intangibles

Forget the Grand Tour of Europe. If your kid is in high school, your next family vacation – in fact, your next couple of family vacations – may well be the Grand Tour of Colleges. Instead of museums or cafes in London or Rome, you’ll be seeing quads, dorms and dining halls. Instead of converting dollars to euros, your brain will be grappling with GPAs, SATs, and oh, yes, the price of tuition.

Washington tuition bill closer

OLYMPIA – Washington students could pay more for a college diploma under a bill approved by the state House on Wednesday. The measure, approved on a 50-47 vote, removes the current 7 percent cap in annual tuition increases for undergraduates who are state residents.