Washington State University is proposing a 2.5 percent tuition increase for the 2021-22 academic year and will bring the proposal before the Board of Regents this week.
The board meets at 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday. The meeting can be viewed on the WSU YouTube channel.
This proposed tuition increase equals $255 or $295 more per year for Washington resident undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. Nonresidents will pay $650 more annually.
According to the meeting packet, the COVID-19 pandemic has “created significant challenges for WSU students and most of the funding from this increase will be utilized to provide additional institutional aid in the form of tuition waivers and to support other student success measures, including mental health and basic needs.”
WSU will receive federal aid under the American Rescue plan, and half of these funds must be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students, which may be applied toward food, tuition, housing or health care costs that arise because of COVID-19.
WSU is not increasing service and activity fees. Pullman students will even see a decrease in these fees.
WSU also chose not to increase housing and dining rates on the Pullman campus. However, there is a proposal to increase WSU parking permit rates and hourly parking rates next year.
If passed, the tuition increase means undergraduate Washington residents can expect to pay $10,457 annually. Graduate students can expect to pay $12,076.
Another item on this week’s Board of Regents agenda is WSU’s intention to sell Adams Mall to a private purchaser. The property on Colorado Street has been home to restaurants and bars since WSU bought the building in 2004 for $1.5 million.
In the meeting packet, Adams Mall is described as the “center of College Hill nightlife with accompanying challenges and a liability for the university.”
WSU labeled it a “financially underperforming asset” and selling it will reduce the liability and risk that comes with the property.
“A sale of this nature should have positive aesthetic and economic effects on the College Hill neighborhood and is consistent with the University’s original intent to revitalize the area and to create a safe and attractive place to live,” the meeting packet reads.
WSU this week will also present its plan to balance its annual athletic budget by 2023, with a long-term view of retiring its overall deficit of more than $100 million.
If approved, approximately $35.6 million in external financing would be issued as general university bonds to help cover revenue losses related to the coronavirus pandemic. The bonds would be repaid with future Pac-12 media and bowl revenue distributions.
The school also said savings of approximately $11 million, achieved through a refinancing of existing debt in fall 2020, would help cover potential pandemic-related losses in fiscal year 2022.
The school reiterated its goal of remaining in the Pac-12, saying it will resume paying membership fees in 2023.