The Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees approved a new budget this summer for the 2002-2003 academic year – which includes a 14 percent raise in tuition for all students.
The apparent need for this increase in tuition stemmed from the Washington Legislature’s decision to reduce funding for the state’s public higher-education institutions. In past years Eastern has received 67.9 percent of its total budget from the state, now Eastern will receive only 63.1 percent.
To compensate for this loss of funding, the Washington State Legislature has given universities the choice to raise tuition accordingly.
“We examined the financial options in as many ways as we could, and this 14 percent tuition increase was our only choice if we wanted to continue to provide access and continue quality,” stated Mark Mays, the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Eastern Washington University.
A misconception about the tuition increase is that it was intended to simply cushion the five percent reduction made by the state, but the Vice President for Business and Finance, Mary Voves explained, “We absorbed the state’s five percent reduction and have reduced our budgets within the university accordingly. This tuition increase is not being used to mitigate budget reductions. The trustees made clear they wanted us to apply tuition increases to move forward with the vision the president has articulated for the university.”
What does this tuition increase mean to students? The 14 percent increase will raise the current tuition of $2,964 to $3,357 for the 2002-2003 school year.
Despite the tuition increase, Eastern’s resident undergraduate students still receive the lowest tuition costs out of any other Washington State public four-year university.
Along with the 14 percent tuition increase, on-campus students will also experience a five percent room and board increase. This increase raises the yearly double room and standard meal plan from $4,786 to $5,025.
“We have worked hard to keep our housing and dining rates reasonable, and they still remain the lowest among the state’s public colleges and universities,” stated Rick Romero, Associate Vice President for Business Services at Eastern.
The $600 incentive grant for double and single occupancy rooms will still apply.
There is some light at the end of this the tunnel. Last January, President Stephen M. Jordan introduced a new presidential scholarship. This new scholarship gives all incoming Washington freshman with at least a 3.8 high school GPA a $2,000 renewable scholarship.