Full time students attending Boise State University will shell out an additional $246 in tuition and fees to attend college beginning in fall.
The Idaho State Board of Education has approved tuition and fee increases for the state's four-year higher education institutions of between 3 percent and 3.5 percent.
Here is the breakdown:
▪ Boise State University: Up 3.5 percent to $7,326
▪ Idaho State University: Up 3 percent to $7,166
▪ Lewis-Clark State College: Up 3.5 percent to $6,334
▪ University of Idaho: Up 3.5 percent to $7,488.
▪ Eastern Idaho Technical College (a two-year school): Up 2.5 percent to $2,464
Much of the increase goes to cover a three percent pay raise approved by the Legislature, but not funded for many positions at the schools.
“In the last two years, the State Board has approved tuition and fee increases to provide salary equity among employees of our public colleges and universities," said Richard Westerberg, a state board member. "We need to be fair and ensure that all employees have an opportunity for a salary increase, not just those in positions funded by the state legislature.”
The State Board has clamped down on tuition increases over the past several years to help improve college affordability.
Boise State University had originally sought a 5.1 percent increase and University of Idaho a 6 percent hike.
Just 46 percent of Idaho high school graduates enroll in higher education after graduation, according to the State Board. That is among the lowest in the country. For many, the cost of college and fear of taking on debt to pay for it is a reason high school graduates don’t go on.
Total cost to attend Idaho's four year schools, including books, tuition and room and board, rose 41 percent between 2006 and 2016, to $19,284, according to the State Board. Tuition and fees cover 47 percent of the state's higher education budget.
Average in-state, undergraduate tuition at Idaho's four-year institutions was $6,847 in 2016, the sixth lowest out of 15 western states according to the Western Interstate Commission For Higher Education. The highest was Arizona at $10,891. The lowest was Wyoming and $5,055.
Tuition for Idaho’s community colleges is set by each school’s board of trustees, not the State Board of Education.