RCM budget to affect CWU tuition waivers

Any student who receives a tuition waiver from CWU might not under the new RCM budget model enacted for next year.

Any student who receives a tuition waiver from CWU might not under the new RCM budget model enacted for next year.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

Any student who receives a tuition waiver from CWU might not under the new RCM budget model enacted for next year.

Racquel Rollins, Senior News Reporter

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Around 20 percent of CWU students have some sort of tuition waiver, but the new budget model might change this.

Starting this summer, CWU will be under a Responsibility-Centered Management (RCM) budget model.

One of the biggest changes under this model is that money goes directly to the college, based entirely on student credit hours.

The college then decides how to best use the money left over after paying all fixed costs, such as salaries and facility costs.

“This model should be beneficial for students,” said Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking. “It’s common sense. You can only spend what you earn.”

One decision that the colleges will have to make is between fixing equipment and giving out additional waivers.

“If we’re waiving too much, we can’t replace those things that need [to be] fixed,” Klucking said.

Klucking gave the example of  the College of Business. They currently have a fund for waivers, specifically for students who attend Washington Business Week.

With the RCM budget model, this would now get put into their budget and the College of Business decides how to use this money efficiently.

This means the dean of the College of Business has to make the choice between giving out more waivers – whether it be recruitment or need-based – or fixing equipment.

Colleges can also determine what type of waivers they give out to students, based on what they think will be the most beneficial.

Recruitment waivers can bring in a student who then adds to the student credit hours for that college. Since student credit hours are entirely how RCM budget model decides how much money each college gets, this essentially gives the college more money.

Need-based waivers, on the other hand, can be given out to nearly any student, and might be a determining factor in whether or not they can afford to continue at the university.

“What is the right mix between recruitment and need-based waivers?” asked  Klucking. “Is there a more fair way?”

The final price of a university can oftentimes  be a deciding factor in a student’s final decision, so waivers and scholarships –which are not affected by the new RCM budget model– can make all the difference.

Matthew Conrardy, a graphic design student, was one of many students who chose CWU because of a tuition waiver.

“I live in California, so I probably wouldn’t have come here,” Conrardy said.
Originally CWU was his third choice, but  with out-of-state tuition being so high, the waiver made the difference.

Alexa Shindruk, a sophomore  accounting major, said that while she always considered CWU, the waiver made a difference in her final decision, as well.

“I don’t think [CWU] would have been my first choice,” Shindruk said.
CWU used to have closer to a 13 percent waiver rate, and while Klucking does not foresee the rate dropping that low again, he does say there should be “a more strategic use of waivers.”

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RCM budget to affect CWU tuition waivers