A tuition tracking tool released this week shows that low-income students pay less at the University of Washington than at other large public universities in the state.
The tool is called Tuition Tracker and it was produced by The Hechinger Report and Education Writers Association. The Dallas Morning News also contributed.
It lets you see the sticker price universities advertise and the net price families have to pay after factoring in scholarships and grants. The data is from the 2015-2016 school year.
The average net price for families with zero to $30,000 in annual income was $7,129 for the UW Seattle campus. About 500 students paid that amount. The average net price for families with income above $110,000 was $24,502. The sticker price for that year for a full-time undergraduate living off campus without family was $31,231.
By comparison, at Washington State University, the net price was $10,048 and 680 students paid that average net price. At Western Washington University, the average net price was $9,241 and about 250 students paid that amount.
UW President Ana Mari Cauce highlighted the university's assistance to low-income students in her annual president's address this week.
“We have one of the strongest and most generous financial aid programs in the country,” Cauce said.
But Cauce said that’s because the university chose to continue its Husky Promise financial aid program for low-income students even as state funding has declined since 1990. In 2003, state funding made up two-thirds of the university’s general operating fund. Now, it makes up one-third and tuition revenue makes up the rest.
Cauce said the university is stretched thin and the state needs to invest more in higher education. She said UW ranks near the bottom among public universities in the amount of state funds it receives per student.