Faced with the third year in a row of big budget cuts, Washington’s higher education institutions could start admitting fewer state residents.
At a Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee hearing today, representatives from public universities in the state said Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed cuts to their state money could mean they would have to look to out of state students and the additional tuition revenue they bring in.
Margaret Shepherd from the University of Washington said the UW had already frozen admission levels for resident students and would consider reducing them over the next two years.
“It’s almost like the state has built in an incentive to admit more nonresidents,” said Don Bennett, Director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board, referring to the higher tuition rates that public universities can charge out of state students.
Over the past two years, tuition surpassed state money for the first time as a source of funding at Washingtonuniversities.
A report released by the governor’s Higher Education Task Force in January recommended giving universities in the state more tuition-setting authority, a move that would allow state schools to get more of their money from tuition during hard economic times when state contributions go down.