Wenatchee Valley College President Dr. Jim Richardson says lower tuition rates have made it more affordable for students but he says it’s had a negative impact on the school’s bottom line.
The Legislature cut tuition by 5 to 20 percent at all public colleges and universities in 2015. Richardson says its been a mixed blessing.
“We’re seeing more part time people come back, I think we lost part time people when tuition went way up and having come down a little bit and people come and take one or two classes in the evenings–we’re seeing more of that than we have in the last four or five years,” Richardson said. “The legislature didn’t quite back-fill when they reduced tuition, and so it was actually a cut to us in our operating budget. We have to make that up somehow and keep going and hopefully have more students.”
Richardson said the student population has dropped a little since the high enrollment during the recession.
“But [student enrollment] is still higher than pre-recession enrollment and it’s been even for about the third year in a row,” he said.
Richardson added that WVC is closely monitoring the special legislative session and he’s hopeful for a resolution to the stalled budget negotiations in Olympia.
For the full interview with Dr. Jim Richardson, click here.