Schmudget Blog
— filed under:

Washington State Higher Education Cuts Led to 2nd Largest Tuition Increase in Nation

Posted by Kim Justice at May 01, 2014 12:20 PM |
Filed under:

A college education opens doors to better jobs, higher wages, and increased economic stability. Yet, rising tuition rates have diminished the prospect of attending college for many Washingtonians.  Our state has experienced the 2nd steepest tuition increase in the nation since the recession hit, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.   

When the Great Recession hit in 2008 and tax revenue dropped, Washington state lawmakers overwhelmingly relied on cuts to higher education and other important investments in order to balance the state budget. According to the new report, authored by former B &PC Analyst, Mike Mitchell,  Washington state has cut funding for higher education by 27.8 percent since 2008 after adjusting for inflation. That’s equivalent to a decrease of $2,498 per student. To fill the funding void left by budget cuts, tuition and fees were allowed to rise by 60.7 percent or $4,085 for the typical student during this same time period. This is the 2nd largest tuition increase in the nation (see graph).

tuition

In the current budget cycle, policymakers put a freeze on further tuition increases and made some small investments. Yet even with these modest improvements, state funding still remains below 2008 levels, after adjusting for inflation. 

When lawmakers reconvene to write the next two-year budget they will face the hefty task of investing at least an additional $2 billion to provide high quality education for students in K-12. This is a critical investment, but only one piece of the education pipeline. It’s not enough to just provide opportunities for kids through high school. Renewed investments in higher education will be needed to provide those graduating high school students a shot at a college education and a more prosperous future. 

Policymakers can generate new resources to invest in higher education and other important public priorities by closing wasteful tax breaks, broadening the state sales tax to include modern goods and services, and adopting a new tax on profit from the sale of corporate stocks and other high-end financial assets.

 
Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

We need your feedback on this website!

We will soon be redesigning the Budget & Policy Center website, and your input is critical to helping us ensure our new site is a valuable, go-to resource. We want your suggestions for making our website as effective and useful as possible. Please complete our brief survey by April 23, 2018. 

We are hiring

We currently have two job opportunities available to join the Budget & Policy Center’s awesome team: a policy analyst position and the Betty Jane Narver fellowship. We are also looking to bring on new members of our board of directors.

Check out Budget Beat

Learn about the pros and cons of the final supplemental state budget on our recent Budget Beat webinar, "Legislative Session 2018 Wrap-up." 

Our policy priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance.

Testimonies in Olympia

Misha TVW
Watch our 2018 legislative session testimonies on TVW: