BOISE, Idaho – Already with the lowest tuition among Idaho’s public four-year institutions, Lewis-Clark State College is taking another step to keep college accessible and affordable as it joined its sister institutions in announcing a plan to forgo undergraduate resident tuition increase requests in 2020.
The joint announcement was made at a Thursday afternoon press conference at the Idaho Statehouse. President Cynthia Pemberton was joined by Presidents Kevin Satterlee (Idaho State University), Marlene Tromp (Boise State University), Scott Green (University of Idaho), and Debbie Critchfield (Idaho State Board of Education) in making the announcement. Critchfield released an accompanying editorial which can be viewed on the Idaho State Board of Education website.
“As it has been throughout its 127-year history, LC State remains committed to offering students a high quality private school experience at a public school price,” Pemberton said. “While undoubtedly we will need to navigate fiscal challenges associated with this decision, LC State is proud to partner with our sister institutions, the State Board of Education, the Idaho Legislature, and the Office of the Governor in this collaborative effort. Together, I’m confident we can continue to find ways to serve the needs of students, industry, and Idaho.”
Lewis-Clark State College’s current undergraduate resident tuition is $6,982. Overall, Idaho’s four-year institutions combine to offer the eighth lowest in-state tuition in the nation.
Critchfield said the presidents “made good on a pledge” made last spring to work with the Board to contain tuition costs. “This will result in serious budget strains on all of our campuses, but I applaud the presidents and trust their skills as administrators to find ways to balance the need for quality education while taking this step to help preserve access and affordability for Idaho students,” Critchfield said.
As stated in a release from the State Board, tuition continues to cover a larger share of Idaho’s public higher education funding than it did in prior years because of reductions in state funding and growing internal costs at the four-year institutions.
“We are grateful the state is continuing to invest in higher education, but when we discuss a long-term plan, we must acknowledge that state funding hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels while internal costs at the universities keep increasing,” Critchfield said. “Board members and the presidents look forward to working with policy makers to develop strategies for a sustainable funding model that moves students and Idaho forward.”
LC State wraps up its fall semester on Friday. The college bucked national trends with a 1.7 percent uptick in enrollment and a 27.5 percent increase in new students in the fall, according to its Oct. 15 census day report. The census report also highlighted the fact that, compared to the prior year, LC State’s graduation rate has climbed from 28 to 40 percent and its retention rate for first-time, full-time students has risen from 57 to 63 percent. Last spring, the school had its second largest graduating class in school history (889), including a record 653 bachelor’s degree recipients.
The application deadline to enroll for spring semester is Jan. 8 and classes begin Jan. 21. Prospective students can apply online and at no cost at www.lcsc.edu/apply.