Board approves new student fees

WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla Community College Board of Trustees this week unanimously approved a series of student fees that will generate about $500,000 a year in new revenue.

The action came as the college grapples with continued cuts in state funding that have already slashed about $3 million from the college's budget in the past two years.

In outlining the proposed fee increases, college President Steve VanAusdle noted that the expected $512,000 to be generated with the fees will help offset continued cuts. The college is preparing for another 6 percent reduction from the state in 2011.

The bulk of the new money will come from a fee that students pay per credit, up to 10 credits. The current fee of $1 will increase to $5 starting in spring of next year. The matriculation fee is projected to generate $360,000.

Also kicking in for the spring will be adjustments to the fees nonresident students pay at the college. The fees apply mainly to students from Idaho and Oregon who are taking more than 10 credits.

Idaho students will be asked to pay $300 a quarter, compared to $251 currently. Oregon students will pay $410 per quarter, up from $384. Although higher amounts, the fees still are less than out-of-state tuition rates, which the college waives for students in neighboring states. In all, the out-of-state student fees will bring in about $62,400.

Students in the college's new Wind Energy Systems program will see a $1,000 fee, assessed over the two years of the program, and set to kick in for winter of next year.

Other fees listed include:

-- A $35 class lab fee, up from $30 and effective in the spring.

-- A truck driving lab fee of $1,125, compared to the current fee of $825, assessed per quarter and effective in the winter.

-- A truck driving lab free for the short course of $650, up from $450.

At the same time as the fee increases, VanAusdle is proposing a financial aid fund of at least $100,000 be established to support students with the greatest financial needs.