- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - It costs a typical student about $5,000 more per year to attend Washington State University than the University of Washington in Seattle.

The WSU Board of Regents was told Thursday there were several reasons for the difference. That includes a higher number of “commuter” students at UW, who can live at home and avoid room and board fees.

The Lewiston Tribune (https://bit.ly/1GPkwvV ) reports that UW also has slightly lower mandatory fees.

Erica Austin, a provost at WSU, told the regents that the average cost of attendance at WSU is nearly $17,000 per year, compared to just under $12,000 for the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, when financial aid is taken out of the picture.

WSU officials also noted the Pullman school enrolls a higher number of low-income students, which stretches its ability to provide financial aid. According to collegedata.com, the average merit and need-based financial aid award at UW is around $18,500 per year, versus $13,000 at WSU.

And UW has a much larger permanent endowment, so it can afford to provide more private scholarships and internal financial aid.

Washington’s permanent endowment amounts to $3 billion, compared to $407 million for WSU

Regent Scott Carson said this is an issue WSU “needs to spend time on.”

“The headline in Seattle is that WSU is 50 percent more expensive than UW,” he said. “We can’t live with that message.”

Austin said the university is trying to provide “multiple pathways” to higher education, including online classes, which could reduce costs. Expanding the availability of private scholarships will also be a major focus of WSU’s next capital campaign.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com

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