SEATTLE -- University of Washington Board of Regents approved an increase of 20 percent for undergraduate, in-state tuition Thursday morning. The increase is the largest in the university's history.
This exceeds the 16 percent increase approved by state lawmakers this year, but the university said it needs to raise tuition even more to avoid deep cuts to programs and classes.
With a 20 percent increase, in-state tuition and mandatory fees at the UW would total $10,574.
Under state law, UW will need to set aside more money for financial aid if the school raises tuition beyond 16 percent.
Ahead of the vote, students expressed concerns about paying more.
"It is hard enough to get by, and it is going to become even harder with more loans and stuff," said UW student Maria Garcia.
“You have to spend less time for school, make more time for making money, and maybe get two to three jobs, just minimum wage jobs," said Jasmine Duffy, UW graduate.
Leoule Goshu is a second year graduate at UW. Goshu is more focused on why the increase is happening.
According to University of Washington spokesperson, Bob Roseth, state funding for the university has fallen by more than 50 percent over the last few years. Without a tuition increase, Roseth said some degree programs could be eliminated.
"20 percent is ridiculous, but the reality is taxpayers don't want to support higher education. The University of Washington is the third biggest employer in the state, and if we don't raise tuition, jobs get cut," said Goshu.
According to The Seattle Times, University of Oregon tuition is under $9,000 a year for in-state students, Washington State University is close to $10,800 and the University of California-Los Angeles is more than $11,000.