Close to a dozen students from Idaho public universities attended a meeting of the Idaho State Board of Education opposing tuition increases requested for the next school year. Most of the students wore blue and orange for Boise State University (BSU) or orange and black for Idaho State University (ISU).
Jason Denizac with the newly-formed Idaho Student Association (ISA) said that raising the cost of going to college hurts students. He is a senior at BSU, and co-founded the ISA last month to protest tuition hikes across the state. The group has a Facebook page with posts rallying students against tuition increases and decisions by lawmakers that reduced funding to higher education. Denizac told IdahoReporter.com that the current system of higher education in Idaho is hurting students and the state.
Kelby Wilson, president of the Associated Students of University of Idaho, was part of the university's presentation to the state board that featured a 12 percent request. U of I has the highest fee increase request of any public university in the state, with full-time students paying $592 more next year.
Wilson and U of I president Duane Nellis said students participated in the discussion of fee increases. Wilson said the increase isn't unprecedented and is reasonable, because it will prevent the school from making drastic reductions to educational programs. He said the Moscow university has already found some efficiencies to lower its spending. "We’ve trimmed the fat, and we don’t want to trim any bone,” Wilson said.
Other Idaho public universities are proposing fee increases of 8.7 percent to 9.9 percent. Full-time in-state students would pay $402-490 more each year, if the state board of education approves the fee increases. A decision from the board is expected on Monday.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.