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Idaho college and university presidents announce plan to freeze tuition next year

December 12, 2019

Students marching down Martin Luther King Ave. during fall 2019 March through the Arch ceremony
ISU students marching down Martin Luther King Avenue during fall 2019 March through the Arch ceremony.

The presidents of Idaho’s four-year public higher education institutions today announced they will not seek tuition increases for resident undergraduate students in 2020.  This marks a significant step on behalf of the University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College, Boise State University and Idaho State University to address the issue of college affordability in Idaho. 

 “It is absolutely imperative that we do all we can to make higher education within reach for more Idahoans.  When we make tuition affordable, increase access to scholarships, and push for efficiencies at the universities, the result is a strengthened workforce and more opportunities for Idahoans to improve their lives.  I commend our college and university presidents and the State Board of Education for sharing my commitment to college affordability in Idaho,” Governor Brad Little said.

State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield said the presidents “made good on a pledge” made last spring to work with the Board to contain tuition costs. “This will result in serious budget strains on all of our campuses, but I applaud the presidents and trust their skills as administrators to find ways to balance the need for quality education while taking this step to help preserve access and affordability for Idaho students,” Critchfield said.

“Students in Idaho deserve an education. They deserve an education that is going to challenge them as individuals, inspire them to make positive change in our communities, and ultimately an education that will better their life. Every student that would like to pursue that, should have the opportunity. Our Idaho students that want to Go-On, but are not able to due to finances, deserve for us as education leaders to hear them and to respond,” said Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee, chair of the Presidents’ Leadership Council.

Tuition continues to cover a larger share of Idaho’s public higher education funding than it did in prior years because of reductions in state funding and growing internal costs at the universities.

“We are grateful the state is continuing to invest in higher education but when we have discussions about a long-term plan, we must acknowledge the fact that state funding hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels while internal costs at the universities keep increasing,” Critchfield said.  “Board members and the presidents look forward to working with policy makers to develop strategies for a sustainable funding model that moves students and Idaho forward.” 

Idaho’s public colleges and universities generate over $3.3 billion annually in gross state product while training the current and next generation of Idaho’s workers by giving them the skills needed to improve their lives.

Idaho State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield has penned an opinion piece on this action, which is available at the the following web address: https://boardofed.idaho.gov/resources/article-higher-education-in-idaho-investing-in-our-future/.





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