$300 Million for Higher Ed? Not Quite.
Recently, the State Senate Majority Coalition Caucus rolled out a proposal that appeared to include $300 million in “new funding” for higher ed, and a 3% tuition cut for undergraduate students.
A big state investment in higher education AND lower tuition for students? We were ready to jump for joy – until we looked a bit closer.
- Turns out, the bulk of the “new money” is for costs that the UW is already obligated to pay, such as building upkeep, electricity, heat and water bills.
- When the tuition cut is factored in, this proposal means the UW will have less funding per-student than it does this year, and nearly $1000 less than what was provided two decades ago.
- The proposal contains no new money for much-needed STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education – degrees that are highly desired and sought by Washington employers.
- The reduced funding for student support could mean bottlenecks for students waiting to take classes needed for graduation, and difficulty accessing advisers and other student services.
Washington’s higher education system deserves better. Click here to ask your Senator to deliver a sound reinvestment plan with a financial commitment that actually benefits students. A tuition cut sounds great – but not at the expense of our students or the quality of their education.