By ALEA THORNE
For the first time since 1986, the tuition increase at Central Washington set by state legislature will freeze for the biennial year from 2013 to 2015.
According to Executive Director of Public Affairs Linda Schactler, the operation budget allowed for the tuition to freeze, instead of increasing by rates 14 percent, which Central has experienced for the last five years. The freeze has also restored $7.8 million in Central’s budget.
Public displeasure of the tuition hikes may have also played a role in the freeze, according to Schactler.
“They begin to hear from parents, students, businesses, lobbyists and visitors that the cost of rising tuition is simply not sustainable,” she said.
The budget is expected to be efficient for the first year, though in the second year, the university will have the option to raise tuition as long as they provide financial assistance to students to compensate.
“It’s state law that if tuition increases, the university must also increase student aid for students in need,” Schactler said.
As of right now, there is no prediction for if the tuition will increase for the 2014-2015 school year, but it’s possible that Central could avoid future cuts to the budget.
Students are also pleased to hear about the tuition freeze, according to Executive Vice President of Centrals Student Body senior Jacob Wittman.
“Higher education has been getting more unaffordable as each year passes,” Wittman says. “It will be nice to take a break from the rising costs of school.”
According to Schactler, legislature finally realized they need to make higher education more affordable for students.
“Students are really struggling to pay for college these days,” said Schactler. “They decided it wasn’t a good idea to discourage them from getting a higher education with higher costs.”