The new state budget recently allowed for Washington state to implement a first-ever drop in tuition by five percent for community colleges.
Washington is the only state in the country to lower tuition. The cuts recently took effect for fall quarter 2015.
“This is a huge deal for students,” said Lia Andrews, student and president of the student executive board at Edmonds Community College. “Even for the students who qualify for financial aid, debts from student loans are exorbitant in America. The concern over whether one can even pay for college is a big incentive not to attend college.”
Andrews plans to transfer to the University of Washington to study environmental science.
Transfer students planning on attending four-year colleges and universities will benefit from this cut as well, due to the state cutting tuition by 15 to 20 percent over the next two years.
“It may not seem like much, but this bodes well not only for the state, but for the nation,” she said. “This is a very historic decision, and I am eager to see how the rest of the nation reacts to it.”
“I’ve never seen the price of college drop in my 35 years in higher education,” said Edmonds Community College President Jean Hernandez. “I think it is huge, it is monumental — a couple hundred bucks a year for students can make quite a difference.”
The unprecedented tuition cut will have a huge impact on Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges.
“We have a whole new generation of people with student debt right now, and state lawmakers are starting to recognize that. I am in favor of making college more affordable,” said Sy Ear, Edmonds Community College Dean for Student Success: Enrollment and Entry Services. “Affordable access to a higher education changed my life and I want this for students in Washington, and especially students at Edmonds CC.”