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WWU 2017-18 operating budget includes tuition increases

The Western Washington University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved Western’s 2017-2018 annual operating budget, which includes a 2.2 percent tuition increase for resident undergraduate students during the upcoming academic year.
The Western Washington University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved Western’s 2017-2018 annual operating budget, which includes a 2.2 percent tuition increase for resident undergraduate students during the upcoming academic year. eabell@bhamherald.com

Resident undergraduate students will see a 2.2-percent tuition increase in the coming academic year at Western Washington University.

Western’s Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the increase along with the university’s 2017-18 annual operating budget of $168.8 million.

Tuition rates also will increase 3.5 percent for nonresident undergraduates, resident graduates, nonresident graduates and MBA students.

The state Legislature, as part of its 2017-19 two-year biennial operating budget, authorized a 2.2-percent increase at the state’s four-year public higher education institutions, Western officials said in a news release. The increase will be reflected in the fall.

It means an undergraduate student will pay $128 more a year — resident undergraduate students made up about 88 percent of students at Western during the last academic year.

Officials noted the increase follows an overall 20-percent reduction in resident undergraduate tuition at Western in the past two years.

Also part of its 2015-17 biennial operating budget, the state Legislature mandated tuition reductions for state-funded resident undergraduates at public universities, which Western phased in with the 5-percent tuition reduction for the 2015-16 academic year followed by the additional 15-percent reduction during the 2016-17 academic year.

Western officials said even with the increases, tuition rates in all categories at WWU still remain lower than most other public universities in the state.

Some highlights of the budget

▪ Funding to enhance programs and initiatives designed to improve student academic success and increase degree completion.

▪ Funding to improve access in targeted areas, including STEM.

▪ Funding and tuition rates for a clinical doctorate in Audiology – a new program and the first clinical doctorate offered at Western.

▪ Funding to assist in providing competitive compensation for university employees. Compensation for faculty and classified employees is determined via union contracts with the university. Western’s professional staff compensation program is a market-based equity program designed to align positions to the local and regional market while maintaining internal equity.

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