WSU Regents Set Tuition Rates for 1999-2001

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Board of Regents set tuition for
1999-2001 on Friday, opting for moderate increases on in-state tuition for both years and a cap
on already high out-of-state tuition in the first year of the new biennium.
The board for the first time exercised the tuition-setting authority granted by the Legislature
earlier this year. The regents considered fiscal issues including affordability for students,
adequate funds to improve low faculty salaries, and tuition levels that are competitive in the
Tuition will rise 4.0 percent for in-state undergraduates during 1999-2000, and 3.6 percent the
following year. In-state graduate and professional students will see a 3 percent increase each of
the two years.
Undergraduate students from out-of-state will see no increases during the two-year period.
In recent years, WSU has seen a decline in this category of students who have been paying 130
percent of the cost of instruction. Graduate and professional students from out-of-state will see
no increase the first year and a 3.6 percent increase the second year.
During its last regular session, the Legislature granted higher education governing boards
the authority to raise tuition by as much as 4.6 percent for the 1999-2000 school year and 3.6
percent for the following year.
“After vigorous discussion by the regents, we have approved moderate increases for
resident undergraduate and graduate students for the next two years. We chose to cap for
1999-2000 our non-resident undergraduate and graduate tuition rates, which we recognized as
already high among our peers nationwide,” said Peter Goldmark, Okanogan, the board’s
“Our decision today sends a clear message of support for our faculty, as the tuition
increases will allow additional improvements to faculty salaries, the key to quality education at
WSU,” he said. “WSU faculty salaries are 17 percent behind those of our peers, the land-grant
universities with veterinary schools. Closing that gap is imperative.
“At the same time, we are reaffirming our longstanding commitment as Washington’s
land-grant university — the people’s university — to affordable tuition for our students. Opening
the doors to a quality WSU education to students of all backgrounds is a fundamental WSU
value,” he said.
The regents heard from both students and faculty during the open hearing portion of the
meeting. They looked at a number of potential tuition increase scenarios and approved two
amendments lowering tuition levels before taking their final vote.
Increased revenue from tuition will be used to help improve faculty salaries and provide a
pool of money for retention increases.
The next WSU Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Wenatchee on June 25.