Topic: Washington State University
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December 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM
Graduates from Washington’s public and private four-year colleges have less debt than their counterparts nationwide, according to a new report on student debt in America.
But in Washington, the average debt load has gone up nearly 22 percent in five years.
When compared to other states, Washington ranks 36th for college debt levels among students who attend four-year schools, according to the report by The Project on Student Debt. The state where students have the highest debt load is Delaware, where the average debt is $33,649; the lowest is New Mexico, where the average debt is $17,994.
The average debt for students who graduated from a Washington public- or private nonprofit four-year school in 2013 is $23,293. Five years ago, students who graduated in 2008 carried a debt load of $19,112, according to CollegeInsight, a website that displays debt figures over a range of years.
Nationally, college graduates who borrowed to earn their bachelor’s degree had an average student-loan debt of $29,000, according to the Project on Student Debt, part of The Institute for College Access and Success. About 71 percent of college seniors who graduated last year had student-loan debt.
The report also warns that one-fifth of the debt held nationally is in the form of private loans, “which are typically more costly and provide fewer consumer protections and repayment options than safer federal loans.”
“From 2008 to 2012, average debt (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year,” the student-debt project reported.
The report also breaks down the numbers by college. On average, 2012 undergraduates from the University of Washington’s Seattle campus owed about $20,800, and 49 percent of graduates had debt. That’s up from $16,800 in 2008 – not surprising, since tuition has nearly doubled in that time period. About 50 percent of graduates had debt in 2008.
In 2012, the average Washington State University undergraduate owed $23,443, and 57 percent of graduates had debt. The WSU debt load was the highest among Washington’s public four-year schools. Numbers for earlier years were not available.
Students who graduated from Washington’s private schools owed significantly more. The four-year private, nonprofit school with the highest average debt load was Saint Martin’s University, in Olympia. Graduates there had a debt load of $34,235, and 79 percent of graduates had some debt.
Northwest University, a small private school in Kirkland, also had a high debt load. The average debt of graduates was $31,691, and 83 percent of graduates had some debt.
Third on the list was Pacific Lutheran University, where the average debt of graduates was $31,320, and 73 percent of graduates had some debt.
November 29, 2013 at 1:31 PM
A few hours before the Apple Cup kickoff Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee met with the regents of the University of Washington and Washington State University and pledged support for more money for higher education.
Inslee also urged the schools to invite legislators to campus, show them the universities’ top accomplishments and make the pitch for higher-education funding as part of the tours.
“We have to find a way to increase revenues or you’re going to be back on the tuition-increase treadmill all over again,” said Inslee, who met with the regents in a ground-floor boardroom inside Husky Stadium, to the left of the main entrance gate. The meeting was drowned out on one occasion by the sound of the Cougar marching band warming up outside the room.
After several years of raising tuition by double-digits, the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities received enough of a funding boost from the Legislature this year to keep tuition flat for the next two academic years.
After the meeting, Inslee said he thinks all the money needed to increase K-12 and higher-education funding can come from closing tax loopholes. He said he is not talking about another form of tax increase, although some legislators have argued that closing loopholes amounts to the same thing.
“We are looking for revenue sources that are possible, politically,” Inslee said, adding, “We have a slew of other tax exemptions that have accrued barnacles over the decades” and no longer make sense economically for the state.
Inslee joked that legislative tours of campus could become a kind of competition, and that each school should try to outdo the other in getting more lawmakers on campus. “One thing I’ve learned is the single most powerful thing to get people to advocate your position is to get them to understand your position,” Inslee said — and that understanding often begins with a visit and a tour.
UW and WSU regents meet together once each year, usually just before the Apple Cup, and trade good-natured ribbing about which school is most likely to come out on top. Inslee, a UW graduate, would as governor present the Apple Cup to the game’s winning team, but he said he was thinking about handing that honor over to his wife, Trudi, if the Cougars prevailed. Trudi Inslee attended WSU.
November 22, 2013 at 3:25 PM
Washington State University’s governing board has approved a $10 million expenditure to design a new classroom and office building and acquire property for future development of WSU-taught programs on the Everett Community College campus.
The money was appropriated by the Legislature. The building of 95,000 square feet will support programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. The actual construction will require additional funds, but WSU won’t know how much until after the building is designed.
Everett officials and legislators asked the Legislature for the money; it wasn’t on WSU’s legislative operating or capital agenda, said WSU spokeswoman Kathy Barnard.
WSU has a growing presence on the Everett campus. Legislation signed in 2011 by Gov. Chris Gregoire gave WSU management and leadership over the University Center of North Puget Sound beginning in 2014. The center is located on the Everett campus and is currently managed by the community college. It offers classes from a consortium of eight schools.
The new building will be located on community-college property currently used as a parking lot. WSU will likely ask the Legislature in 2015 for money to build it.
October 31, 2013 at 3:58 PM
Washington State University canceled classes Thursday afternoon and made morning classes optional in advance of a 7:30 p.m. football game against Arizona State University.
WSU President Elson Floyd announced the decision to cancel classes in May, calling the game “a rare opportunity” to showcase the Pullman campus. The game is being televised nationally by ESPN.
“It is also the first time since 2005 that WSU has played a Thursday home football game, so it presents some special challenges,” Floyd wrote in his campus-wide memo in May.
WSU’s Martin Stadium is in the middle of the Pullman campus, and has no designated parking of its own, said Kathy Barnard, executive director of university communications. “There are thousands of students, thousands of faculty and staff, and thousands of fans trying to share finite space,” she said by email. If classes weren’t canceled, all of those audiences would be vying for those parking spaces, she said.
Barnard said the decision was made after consultation with senior leadership, the deans, faculty leadership and the faculty at large.
October 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM
The University of Washington has started the academic year with the largest freshman class in its history with 6,255 students, 67 percent of whom are from Washington.
The UW had a record number of applicants for the year — more than 30,000 — and as a result, the admission rate declined from 59 percent in 2012 to 55 percent this year.
But the acceptance rate for Washington residents was higher. Of the nearly 11,000 Washington high-school students who applied for admission, about 64 percent were accepted.
The average grade-point average for entering freshmen is 3.76; their average composite SAT score is 1,830. The high school with the largest number of entering freshmen is Skyline, with 93 students, followed by Newport with 88 and Inglemoor with 83.
International students make up nearly 16 percent of the entering class. The top three countries for freshmen international students are: China, with 687 students; South Korea, with 75; and Taiwan, with 70.
Elsewhere in the state:
- Washington State University saw a slight decline in the number of freshmen this year, but the university’s overall enrollment at its Pullman campus is the second-highest in the university’s history. WSU has seen an increase in the diversity of its enrollment, with one in four students now identifying themselves as students of color.
- Western Washington University’s freshmen enrollment increased by 107 students, and total enrollment for the year also grew, by about 100 students, to 14,950. It’s the largest and most culturally diverse enrollment in the university’s history, with minority students making up about a quarter of the freshman class.
- Central Washington University saw freshmen enrollment increase by 70 students, or about 5 percent higher than last year. The total enrollment dropped by 211 students, from 10,715 in fall 2012 to 10,504 in fall 2013. CWU officials say it’s the first decline in many years, and they attribute the drop to strict new rules for State Need Grant eligibility that caused 200 students to lose financial aid.
- Eastern Washington University set an enrollment record, for the fifth consecutive year, with a total headcount of 12,791 — about 200 more students than it had at the same time last year. University officials say they’re retaining more juniors and seniors, in part because they have increased academic support services and institutional aid.
- The Evergreen State College saw a slight decline from last year’s overall enrollment of new students — it’s down about 3 percent, from 1,344 in 2012-13 to 1,308 this year. New undergraduate enrollment includes both transfer students, who make up 60 percent of new students, and freshmen. Evergreen’s total enrollment this year is 4,424.
October 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Hundreds of college-age revelers in Washington state thwarted in efforts to continue a large party threw projectiles at police who responded with pepper spray to disperse them, officials said.
Several people were arrested during the melee late Saturday and early Sunday in Bellingham, according to police Sgt. Mike Scanlon.
“There was drinking, it became disorderly and pretty much an out and out riot,” he told The Associated Press.
He said the unrest began as police dispersed a noisy party that had drawn a few hundred people.
Many of the revelers then moved to nearby Laurel Park, where they were joined by even more people, Scanlon said, calling it a “large, intoxicated, disorderly crowd.”
The situation “finally boiled over,” he said. ‘They began hurling projectiles at police.”
Up to 500 people had converged on the park as police worked to disperse them, at one point using pepper spray, Scanlon said.
It took about 45 minutes to clear the area and restore order.
Scanlon said that there were multiple arrests but he didn’t have an exact figure. And he said he didn’t know if there were any injuries.
Bellingham is home to Western Washington University.
October 9, 2013 at 9:05 PM
COLFAX, Whitman County — Experts at Washington State University’s veterinary college are caring for a cold, hungry 11-foot python that a landlord found apparently abandoned in a rental house.
KREM-TV reports the Colfax landlord called Whitman County sheriff’s deputies for help. They called WSU in nearby Pullman.
The veterinary experts captured the snake Tuesday night. They say it’s slightly undernourished at 22 pounds. And they add that the cold-blooded creature suffered moderate burns when it curled up around a heater at the rental property in an effort to stay warm.
Vet school officials say it’s the second time in a month that law enforcement officers have asked for help catching a large snake.
September 26, 2013 at 11:03 PM
The 7-week-old baby giraffe at Woodland Park Zoo has been named Misawa (me-SAW-wah) and is already 8 feet tall.
A news release said Washington State University veterinary students named the male giraffe, born Aug. 6, after a greeting in the indigenous language of Luo, in Tanzania and Southwest Kenya, the giraffe’s native region.
“Misawa spends much of his time outdoors in the zoo’s giraffe corral, accompanied by his 6-year-old mother Olivia and Olivia’s 5-year-old sister Tufani, the young giraffe calf’s most active playmate,” the release said.
Sound awesomely adorable to you? You can watch him play from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day on the zoo’s live giraffe cam.
Watching outside the camera’s hours of operation? No worries. The zoo has something of a greatest hits video for you:
If you still can’t get enough baby giraffe, you can go see it in person at the zoo. The new family is allowed out into an outdoor corral from 9:30 a.m. to around 2:30 p.m. daily. The news release warned, though, that during rainy weather, the mother and baby may stay in the barn.
Woodland Park Zoo president and chief executive Deborah Jensen commended the Washington State veterinary students “for their dedication to human and wildlife health through their Global Animal Health programs in east Africa, a region native to giraffes like Misawa,” in a statement. Having the students name Misawa was a thank-you for their work in the programs, she said.
For more photos and videos of the giraffe, check out zoo.org/blog.
July 25, 2013 at 11:11 AM
The Associated Press
PULLMAN — Washington State University faculty and staff will receive a 4 percent salary increase, effective Jan. 1.
WSU President Elson Floyd announced the raise Wednesday on his blog. He says it’s the first pay raise since 2008, outside of step increases for civil service employees.
Executive Vice President Dan Bernardo told The Moscow-Pullman Daily News the raise would make up some ground lost in salary freezes and help retain top faculty members.
July 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM
The Chelan County coroner has identified a 21-year-old Des Moines man who died after a weekend music festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington.
Coroner Wayne Harris said late Monday afternoon that autopsy results were not yet available for Patrick Witkowski. The coroner said Witkowski was a Washington State University student.
Authorities said dozens of people were treated after overdosing on a drug called Molly at the two-day Paradiso Festival, which featured dozens of electronic-music performances. More than 25,000 people attended the event.
Witkowski died Sunday at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee. He was one of seven people from the festival who were taken to that hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman says three remain in serious condition.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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