Tuition and student fee decision on hold until May

Parents and college students waiting for word about fall tuition will just have to wait a little longer.

The State Board of Education meets in Moscow this week, and 2023-24 tuition and fees are not on the board’s two-day agenda.

That’s a bit of a departure, and the reasons for the delay aren’t exactly clear.

Customarily, the State Board sets fall fees at its April meeting.

“We are planning a special board meeting in May for the board to consider tuition and fee proposals,” said spokesman Mike Keckler, who did not elaborate.

This year’s decision on fees and tuition comes three years into a freeze of in-state, undergraduate tuition — an attempt to convince more Idaho graduates to pursue a degree at one of the state’s four-year schools.

But earlier this year, State Board President Kurt Liebich warned lawmakers that the state’s “starved” higher education system was nearing a breaking point. Facing inflationary pressures, he said, the four-year schools might be forced to raise tuition or cut programs.

In-state tuition and fees now range from $6,996 at Lewis-Clark State College to $8,396 at the University of Idaho.

With the tuition issue off the table for the time being, the board will take up several other items when it meets on the U of I campus Tuesday and Wednesday:

  • A proposal to ban written diversity hiring statements at the four-year schools. According to the board’s proposed resolution, these statements “may result in employment decisions based on factors other than one’s own merit.”
  • A proposal for a $70 million Boise State University dormitory, housing 450 first-year students.
  • A master plan for developing 22 acres at Idaho State University’s Meridian campus.

Much of the board’s work will take place behind closed doors. Board members will meet in executive sessions for annual job evaluations for the state’s college and university presidents, and board Executive Director Matt Freeman.

Check back this week for meeting coverage.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday