Proposed Fee Increase Puts Engineering Students On Edge


Idaho's engineering colleges want their students to take one for the team.

As the state budget grows tighter, three state colleges and universities want students to pay extra fees—sizable lab fees—to be added to the tuition for junior and senior students.

“Are there exceptions for nontraditional students if we can’t afford it?” asked Glen Purnell, during a Boise State University workshop on the proposal today.

Cheryl Schrader, the Boise State College of Engineering dean, answered that there were no planned exceptions, but that the fees would be considered on applications for federal financial aid, which is not possible with current lab and course fees (that would be dropped under the new program).

The colleges of engineering at Boise State, University of Idaho and Idaho State University are holding workshops to announce the proposal before it is submitted to the State Board of Education in April. The colleges passed out a copy of the proposal in draft form.

“There is an inherently higher cost to educating engineers than most other students,” the draft states. “Initially, funds are expected to be concentrated in the areas of laboratory equipment, course support, professional advising and enhanced student support services such as internship coordination and placement.”