Panel Leaning Toward Repeal Of Differential Tuition In Wash.

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, December 14, 2012

A legislative committee that is re-examining a law that would let colleges and universities charge more for certain high-demand degrees is leaning toward recommending that the measure be repealed.

Although the committee didn't come to a recommendation when it met Tuesday, four members said they favor taking away the right to charge different tuition rates for different majors because it could have financial consequences for the state's prepaid college-tuition program.

Differential tuition was approved by the 2011 Legislature but suspended the following year because of concerns about its impact on the state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. That program pays account-holders based on the highest tuition charged by a state institution to in-state undergraduates. It already is underfunded by about $600 million, or 79 percent.

A higher tuition for some programs could push GET's per-unit payout to a higher amount — although legislative staffers said they thought they had found a way around that dilemma.

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