Before prices were frozen in the spring, tuition for a year of undergraduate education at the University of Washington had grown at five times the rate of inflation over the last decade — an increase of 150 percent.
That increase is largely due to the state’s sharp budget cutbacks. Washington now funds 31 percent of the cost of a degree; 10 years ago it funded 64 percent.
But two lesser-known factors have also played a role.
• The university’s decision to make the UW free to thousands of low- and middle-income Washington students — about a third of all UW resident undergraduates.
• Decisions made by students themselves to pay for additional services, programs and amenities — everything from bus passes for all students to rebuilding the Husky Union Building and Hall Health Center.