Differential Tuition Could Hurt Program

Ann McClure's picture

Washington's pre-paid tuition program could lose some of its financial stability if state universities start adopting differential tuition for more expensive majors, a new report states.

Last year, the Legislature passed a bill allowing the state's four-year schools to charge higher tuition for certain programs such as engineering that cost more to provide.

That plan may help colleges balance their budgets, but a state actuary said it could cause problems for Washington's Guaranteed Education Tuition program, or GET, which is set up to anticipate college costs.

If tuition is differentiated, those costs could change more than originally expected.

This year's price for one GET unit was $163, and it takes 100 units to cover one year of tuition and state-mandated fees at the University of Washington or Washington State University. That doesn't include room and board.

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