Western Washington University will receive $886,000 per year in continuing annual funding from the Washington State Legislature to reduce tuition rates and enhance access for resident undergraduate students in most four-year degree programs offered by Western on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.
“We are deeply appreciative that the Legislature has maintained its commitment to reduce tuition for Western students on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, despite severe state budget shortfalls caused by COVID-19. They know that increasing access to quality higher education is one of the most powerful ways to accelerate Washington’s economic recovery and create more equitable opportunities for all,” said Western President Sabah Randhawa.
Until now, most of Western’s four-year degree programs offered on Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas had not received state support so were self-supporting, requiring higher tuition costs for students attending those programs than tuition rates paid by other Western resident undergraduates in state-supported degree programs.
The 2020 legislative session ended in mid-March, and the 2020 supplemental operating budget included state support for most of Western’s four-year resident undergraduate degree programs on the peninsulas.
Western on the Peninsulas programs that will see lower tuition are: Business Administration, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, and Education with endorsements in Elementary and Special Education. Tuition rates for resident undergraduate students in those academic programs will be lowered beginning this fall. Tuition rates for Cybersecurity and Early Childhood Education programs at Western on the Peninsulas were already aligned with other state-supported degree programs thanks to earlier legislative investments. The graduate certificate programs for Educational Administrators and the undergraduate online Human Services degree, which serves students from across the state and beyond, remain self-supporting, and Western continues to work with these programs on reducing tuition costs for students.
“Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas are some of the most underserved areas in the state in terms of access to a four year degree. These investments help to provide location-based degrees at a price point that works and in a way that fits the busy lives and deep aspirations of residents,” said Robert Squires, vice provost of Outreach and Continuing Education at Western.
Western on the Peninsulas offers a variety of programs at its three locations: Bremerton, Poulsbo and Port Angeles. Programs include educational leadership, human services, teacher education, business administration, business and sustainability, computer and information systems security, environmental policy, environmental science and multidisciplinary studies.