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UW tuition to increase; LCCC to stay the same

Although Wyoming’s median household income rates have generally stayed the same at slightly above the national average, the tuition rates to attend Wyoming higher education institutions have steadily increased throughout the years.

This rang all too true for University of Wyoming students when its board of trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase on Nov. 14 for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year, a move that didn’t set well with the UW’s Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Associated Students.

“Clearly, we’re in favor of increased revenue streams,” UW Faculty Senate Chair Ed Janak told the Laramie Boomerang, “However, the sense of the faculty is that we are not in favor of increasing this on the backs of our students.”

4 percent yearly increase

In addition, the board called for an annual, ongoing tuition increase of 4 percent in the years to follow. The increase is estimated to raise more than $2.5 million, $2 million of which will be devoted to employee salaries with the remaining $500,000 going to the Office of Academic Affairs to address academic support and programmatic issues.

However, on Nov. 20, the Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) voted 6-1 to keep the current tuition rates the same level for community college students for the 2015-2016 academic year. Although not all commissioners favored maintaining the current rate, this decision will give time for a study of ways to make completing an associate degree more attractive.

WCCC’s executive director, Dr. Jim Rose, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, “The study would look at programs like offering a consistent tuition level to students who maintain a certain level of credit hours each semester.”

Earlier, on Oct. 10, the WCCC, which has the only authority to raise community college tuition in the state, had discussed the consideration of revisions to its tuition policy regarding all seven community colleges. In 2006, the WCCC had adopted a long-term tuition policy with five guiding principles.

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Apartments may be built near college

Laramie County Community College students have one place to live on campus, the Residence Halls. They are surrounded by open fields on one side and occupied homes on another. This situation is not ideal for nontraditional students with families or students with a desire for their own space who cannot afford a pricey mortgage.

The Residence Halls house only about 275 students, according to the Director of Residential Living, Jason Ostrowski, and space fills up quickly. Moreover, the dorms do not allow students to live with children or a spouse. There has been speculation of building family-friendly Residence Halls, but that plan is years away. The number of empty apartment spaces is also shockingly low in Cheyenne, so finding an affordable place to live can be difficult for a student.

Prospective property one half mile from LCCC

Luckily, for future students, the prospect of a new apartment complex is right around the corner. The apartments would be situated at 603 E. College Drive, in a neighborhood called Wallick and Murray Gardens. The property is only one half mile away from LCCC’s west entrance, set between Avenue C and the South Greeley Highway.

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