Despite Tuition Cap, Costs Soar at N. Dakota College
Williston State College Ramps Up Room, Board, Mandatory Fees
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Although the state Board of High Education lowered tuition at Williston State College three months ago, students are now seeing a big increase in mandatory fees and the cost of room and board for the upcoming school year.
The overall cost of tuition, room, board and mandatory fees is going up 23 percent to $14,805 per year at the two-year college, the Williston Herald (http://bit.ly/1N79fsq ) reported. Mandatory fees are rising by 58.5 percent, and room and board are up by 26.8 percent.
According to college president Raymond Nadolny, the rise in the cost of attending the school is due to base funding shortfalls, an increase in staff salaries, and higher costs of construction and maintenance in the Oil Patch region.
“I think everyone realizes it’s more expensive to do anything in Williston,” Nadolny said during an interview on campus. “There’s no option but to do this.”
Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a 2.5 percent cap on tuition increases within North Dakota’s university system for two years. That caused a delay in enacting a 7.1 tuition increase at Williston State College, meant to align it with other two-year schools.
But the capped tuition increases and cuts in funding means eight of the 11 state campuses now have to find additional money else where to cover costs. Campus presidents are able to set room, board and mandatory fee increases within the guidelines and policies of the Board of Higher Education.
This fall semester, room and board at Williston State College will cost $9,572 per year, making it the most expensive rate in the state, according to the Board of Higher Education. The increase in room rates is expected to generate about $224,230.
About 36 percent of the school’s full- and part-time students won’t be impacted by the increases in tuition and mandatory fees.