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The Chart

It's remarkable how a good picture or startling factoid can change the conversation about public policy.

Last week the Senate Ways & Means committee provided a generic briefing to legislators--a typical beginning-of-session overview of higher ed. That's when they broke out -- The Chart. 

This chart shows which institutions have benefited either from large tuition increases or state largess over the past few years. And, even better, it says exactly what CWU has been telling public policymakers over the past two years. To wit: universities that took huge tuition increases two and three years ago are enjoying tuition surpluses. Those who were more conservative, and made affordability and predictability the highest priorities, do not.

Two years ago when the legislature asked what it would take in state support to allow institutions to survive a tuition freeze, CWU said $7 million per year for each year of the biennium--two years. Instead the legislature appropriated $7 million across two years. Result? A big and growing gap this year.

Many policymakers have come to see tuition increases as tax increases.This chart helps illustrate the need to right past errors in legislative math with state support, if not a tuition increase. 






Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 18:30

Questions? Comments? Email Linda Schactler

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