How Washington is pricing thousands of high school graduates out of college

Affordable higher education was once a hallmark of living Washington state — but no more. Sure, tuition will drop a bit in 2015-16, but so will funding for state financial aid. And even adjusted for inflation, the cost of tuition and fees has skyrocketed.

The Economic Opportunity Institute’s analysis of data gathered from WA LEAP, the WA Student Achievement Council, and the WA Office of Financial Management shows that between the 1980-81 and 2015-16 school year, tuition and fees increased by:

  • 499% at University of Washington
  • 507% at Washington State University
  • 384% at Central, Eastern, Western and Evergreen
  • 337% at Community and Technical Colleges

And keep in mind, this is using inflation adjusted (2014) dollars!

Without comprehensive tax reform to bring in new state revenue, college will remain far out of reach for too many.

Tuition and fees 1965-2016

Click for interactive graph of tuition/fees at Washington’s public colleges and universities.

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