Most WWU students won't see tuition increase next year

Tuition will not increase next year for resident undergrads at Western Washington University—who make up approximately 88 percent of WWU’s student body—according to the university’s 2013-2014 operating budget, approved last week by its board of trustees.

Resident ungraduate students at WWU pay about $7,503 annually for tuition, according to WWU.

For non-resident undergraduates, resident graduates, non-resident graduates and MBA students, tuition will increase 3 percent during the next school year.

An undergrad tuition freeze at Washington’s public universities was directed by lawmakers as part of the latest state budget. Students at public universities have faced tuition increases in recent years due to state budget cuts.

WWU’s $145.5 million operating budget also includes increased funding appropriated by the state Legislature for the high-demand fields of computer science and engineering. The school will spend nearly $3 million to expand those programs.

The trustees also approved Western’s 2013-2015 Capital Budget, totaling $29,936,000, which includes $7,547,000 in re-appropriations and $22,389,000 in new appropriations.

Capital projects will include: $4,746,000 in classroom and lab upgrades, $2,947,000 to upgrade seriously degraded exterior cladding and roofing systems on the Performing Arts Center, $3,582,000 for a north campus utility upgrade, as well as $7.5 million in preservation minor works projects that will address some badly needed preservation projects throughout the campus during the 2013-15 biennium.

WWU has both an operating budget – which keeps the university going on a day-to-day basis, paying salaries, utilities, supplies, etc. – and a capital budget, which is used for building projects such as renovation or new construction of campus buildings. The money for these comes from two different funding sources: operating money comes from state operating appropriations and tuition; the capital budget is primarily financed by long term state-issued bonds, a financing mechanism similar to a home mortgage. The state does not allow capital appropriations to be used for operating expenses.

Additional information can be found online at WWU’s Budget Office website.

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