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Idaho's four-year colleges get permission to raise tuition

Courtesy University of Idaho

The state Board of Education on Monday approved the first tuition and fee hike in four years.

Students at Idaho’s four-year college and universities will pay more for their education next fall.

The state Board of Education today approved requests for 5% increases in tuition and fees for the University of Idaho, Idaho State and Boise State universities. It also agreed to a 5.6% hike for Lewis-Clark State College after the case was made by Julie Crea, the college’s vice president for finance and administration.

“Overall, LC has reduced positions. We’ve eliminated departments. But we’ve had to still continue to provide the necessary student services for our students in our campus community, even though we’re doing more with less. These operational reductions are not sustainable in the long term," she said.

Crea says Lewis-Clark has endured significant turnover in staff and professional positions over the last few years due to employee burnout.

Even with the highest increase among the four-year institutions, LCSC will still have the least expensive tuition and fees of the four-year schools at $7,388.

Board member Kurt Liebich noted it was the first increase for the institutions since just before the COVID pandemic.

“Since that point, inflation is 16%-18% when you look at CPI, and we’ve held tuition flat, so even with this move today, we’re still only covering a third of what inflation has been since 2020 and I think as fiduciaries we can’t burden our institutions with structural deficits and we’ve got to support them," he said.

"University presidents are being held accountable by this board for reining in their budgets, managing the debt load for students, raising additional funding and partnering with lawmakers and industry to continue to provide educational opportunities to grow Idaho’s economy," said board member Cally Roach.

Costs for full-time students who qualify as Idaho residents will go up about $400 around the state next fall. Students at the University of Idaho will pay $8,816, the highest in the state. Boise State's tuition and fees will be $8,782. Students at Idaho State will pay $8,356.

Administrators at each of the universities told Board of Education members say they developed their tuition proposals with the help of student representatives. The colleges were also required to vet their proposals through public meetings before bringing them to the board.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.