2015-2017 Budget Update
The WSA has always advocated for affordable tuition; the best form of financial aid is low tuition. Thus, the WSA congratulates the work of student lobbying in securing the first tuition reduction in decades for the 2016 and 2017 school years.
5% tuition cut for every community college and public university for 2016.
15% tuition reduction for University of Washington and Washington State University
20% tuition reduction for all regional schools
5% tuition reduction continues for all community colleges.
The Board of Directors is also cognizant of potential impacts to students with the combined decrease in State Need Grant funding. The WSA plans to monitor both access and affordability closely in the coming year to asses student experiences with the reduction.
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WSA has opposed relentless efforts to remove public accountability to the cost of college by releasing control of tuition setting to local boards of trustees or regents. Disinvestment in public higher education has accelerated in recent years as a result of the drastic cuts imposed by the Legislature. On many occasions, the WSA has influenced the Legislature to reduce administrative and legislative proposals for larger increases in tuition and more long-lasting tuition increases.
The WSA has passed numerous bills over it's 30 year history to curb the rising cost of textbooks and hold textbook companies accountable for ensuring affordability to students.
Sometimes obtaining a seat at the table is half the battle. Stu dent participation and input in a number of task forces, blue ribbon committees, and other work groups has also often been driven by the WSA.
The WSA has worked to ensure that students who are the children of undocumented immigrants retain access to higher education and financial aid, and are not punished for the status of their parents. Furthermore, the WSA worked against Initiative 200, fought for increased access for under-represented populations in higher education institutions, and testified for enhanced recruitment and retention of minority faculty, staff, and students.
The WSA has fought and one several bills that ensured student veterans had as much acess as possible to classes, financial aid counseling, easy acess to services on campus, and more.
The WSA has historically been the only organization who consistently fights for affordable childcare on campuses since the 1980’s and has won incremental victories, such as establishing a competitive Student Parent Child Care grant to help support the creation or expansion of campus childcare programs.
In the mid-1990’s the WSA was the principal advocate for the legal requirement that students must have majority representation in the assessment and distribution of student fees, thus creating modern "Student Activities Fee Committees."
The WSA has advocated on a biennial basis for the efficient use of existing campus buildings and for prioritization of new projects based on student needs. Furthermore, the WSA has been vocal about which projects are the highest priorities for the quality of education of Washington students.