MOSCOW - Full-time undergraduate students at the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College may see a hike in their tuition next year.

The Idaho State Board of Education will consider requests from both schools to hike the cost of resident and nonresident tuition and fees during its meeting at 9 a.m. today in the Bruce M. Pitman Center on UI's campus. The proposed increases are the lowest requests officials at UI and LCSC have made in the past five years.

UI officials are seeking a 3.5 percent, or $236, increase across the board for full-time resident and nonresident students for the next academic year. The increase would bring the overall cost to $7,020 per year - up from $6,784 - for Idaho students and would increase tuition from $13,530 to $14,004 for nonresident students.

The proposed $236 increase for full-time resident students would break down to a $218.54 tuition increase and a $17.46 increase to the student activities fee. For nonresident students, the proposed increase would only be for tuition and would bring the total tuition and fee package to $21,024.

UI is also asking for an increase to $351 from $339 for both the part-time undergraduate credit hour fee and summer class rates. The proposal includes a 4.3 percent, or $104, increase in resident graduate student tuition. If approved, the total tuition and fees package for graduate students would increase to $8,222 from $7,882.

The request to increase tuition and fees comes after UI President Chuck Staben proposed to freeze tuition for resident undergraduate students if the Idaho Legislature agreed to fully fund a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and staff. The proposal was not supported by the Legislature, but lawmakers did increase the state's higher education budget by 3 percent for the next fiscal year.

The higher education budget increase will generate $7.6 million for the next fiscal year - about a sixth of the $48.7 million requested by Idaho's colleges and universities - and brings the total the state spends on higher education to $520.5 million.

Of that increase, UI will receive $557,100 to add advisory staff and help improve student retention and graduation rates. Another $518,400 and six full-time positions will go toward UI's Employment Readiness Program to help improve career planning and placement services.

The budget increase also allocated $209,700 and one full-time position to LCSC for a new pilot program that will provide free tuition to 20 students in exchange for working about 10 hours per week. LCSC President Tony Fernandez encouraged legislators to "consider creative ways" for keeping tuition and fees low, but did not offer a similar tuition freeze proposal like UI.

LCSC is proposing a 1.7 percent, or $100, increase in tuition and fees for full-time resident students, which would bring the annual total to $6,000. The college is also seeking a 4.6 percent, or $482, increase in full-time nonresident tuition and fees - for a yearly total of $11,000.

The proposed increases would apply only to the tuition portion of the fees for full-time resident and nonresident students. LCSC is also requesting a 1.7 percent increase be applied to part-time credit hour fees and summer fees, increasing each of those areas by $5 to a total of $307.

In other business Thursday:

  • Board members will consider a request from UI to establish a vice president of infrastructure. The new position would be responsible for managing facilities and real estate, administrative service operations, safety and risk and information technology, and has a listed annual salary of $170,000 to $172,000.
  • The panel will hear a proposed temporary rule change regarding high school graduation requirements.
  • LCSC will seek approval from the board for an online teaching endorsement program. The program is intended to provide teachers with hands-on experience for online teaching and includes coursework and an internship.
  • Board members will hear annual reports from UI and from officials at the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) program.

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Rudd may be contacted at erudd@lmtribune.com or (208) 791-8465. Follow her on Twitter @elizabeth_rudd.

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