Tuition freeze announcement all

Idaho State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield speaks at the state Capitol on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019; at left is Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee; from right are Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton; Boise State University President Marlene Tromp; and University of Idaho President Scott Green.

Idaho's four public college and university presidents came together today to announce that they'll freeze undergraduate, in-state tuition and fees for next year at this year's level -- the first such statewide freeze in 43 years.

"We must begin in earnest to address the issue of higher education affordability," said Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee.

The four presidents of ISU, BSU, UI and LCSC, all new, have been meeting as a president's council and came up with the idea. Based on recent increases, it means UI and ISU are giving up $2 million to $3 million in potential revenue next year at a time when they're already being asked to cut their budgets; BSU's total will be larger, as it has more students, while LCSC's will be smaller, with its smaller student body.

Debbie Critchfield, state Board of Education president, commended the presidents, but noted that it's just the beginning of a conversation on "long-term, sustainable funding for higher education."

"There is no question that the value that our students have in Idaho is exceptional," she said. You can read my full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Friday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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