Guaranteed Education Tuition Worries Could Block U of Washington From Varying Tuition Rates

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nearly two years ago, the Legislature gave state universities the authority to charge different tuition rates for different programs to in-state students — more for an engineering degree than an English degree, for example, because engineers are more expensive to train.

There's just one problem: The state's prepaid college-tuition program, which has 120,000 active accounts, pegs the payout to the highest tuition charged by a state institution to in-state undergraduates.

If the UW charged extra for an engineering degree, the payout on Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) units would have to be pegged to that new, higher rate.

After spending months parsing the legal language of the GET program in an effort to resolve the dilemma, some lawmakers say they'll recommend against allowing differential tuition for the UW.

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