On December 15, 2016, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance released its 2017 list of the top 300 “Best College Values.” Kiplinger’s ranks their top 100 public universities based on both in-state and out-of-state cost of attendance. The University of Washington was ranked #12 among public universities in value for in-state students and #24 among public universities in value for out-of-state students. This continues a history of high rankings for the UW. Over the past five years, the UW has ranked #17 or better for in-state state students, and #28 or better for out-of-state students, each year.
The calculations for Kiplinger’s rankings are based on quality criteria (which account for 55 percent of an institution’s overall ranking) and cost criteria (which account for the remaining 45 percent). Quality criteria include:
- Measures of competitiveness and selectivity (admission rate, percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll, and ACT and SAT scores of incoming freshman);
- Four-year graduation rate; and
- Measures of academic support (freshman retention rate and student-to-faculty ratio).
Cost criteria include:
- Total cost (including tuition and fees as well as books and room and board, with added points for “schools that reduce the price through need-based [grant] aid” or “knock down the price through non-need-based aid”) and
- Student indebtedness (students’ average debt at graduation and the percentage of students who borrow).
Because public institutions typically have different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, Kiplinger’s provides two separate rankings. While the quality criteria used in both rankings are the same, only in-state students’ cost of attendance factors into the in-state ranking (and likewise for the out-of-state ranking).
As the Kiplinger’s ranking is based on selectiveness, academic outcomes, and cost, it should not be interpreted as either a “best colleges” list or a “most affordable” list. Among the top 10 public institutions for in-state students, for example, some institutions (e.g., College of William and Mary) are highly selective but more expensive, while others (e.g., University of Florida) have more inclusive admissions and lower four-year graduation rates but are more affordable.
For in-state students, the UW compares strongly with the highest-ranked public institutions on measures of affordability. For example, the UW’s cost of attendance for in-state students, after applying need-based aid, is $7,800 per year. The average cost among the top 10 in-state is 50 percent higher, at $11,700. UW students’ average debt at graduation is also lower, by about $2,000, than the average for top-10 institutions. Although the UW’s admit rate is higher and its four-year graduation rate is lower than some other top institutions’, its relative affordability contributes to a strong ranking (#12 in the nation) for in-state students.
The UW’s higher cost for out-of-state students contributes to an out-of-state ranking of #24. For out-of-state students, the UW’s cost of attendance after need-based aid ($31,800) is slightly higher than the average among top-10 institutions ($31,300).
More information about Kiplinger’s methodology is available on their website.
The Office of Planning & Budgeting has recently published new peer tuition comparisons for the 2016-17 academic year. The new tuition comparisons allow you to see UW tuition rates alongside those of peer institutions.
In the past, OPB has published tuition comparisons for Global Challenge State (GCS) peer institutions. However, more recently OPB has moved away from GCS peer comparisons toward comparisons based on the US News & World Report ranking of Top Public Schools. The 2017 US News ranking is available now (the UW is ranked #16 in the nation). The US News peer comparison group includes all public Research 1 (R1) universities ranked #25 or better; because of ties, and because not all top-25 universities are in the R1 category, there may be more or fewer than 25 institutions in this peer comparison group each year. (In order to make comparisons across time, historical averages are calculated based on the 2017 US News peer list, not the US News list current at the time.)
Comparisons include undergraduate, graduate, MBA, PharmD, law, medicine, and dentistry tuition rates for both resident and nonresident students. Most data are provided through the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE). For peer institutions that are not part of AAUDE, we found tuition data on the universities’ websites.
For each tuition category, we provide a list of current tuition rates at each institution, along with a chart comparing UW tuition against the peer group average over the past 5 years. This allows you to look at both the UW’s current rates as well as recent trends, side by side with peers. For example, the UW’s resident undergraduate tuition rate is well below the peer average, partially due to tuition decreases in the last two years. Nonresident undergraduate tuition rates, on the other hand, have tracked closely with the peer average (remaining within 5% of the average over the past five years).
You can see more in the peer tuition comparison file, and find other comparisons on OPB’s Peer Comparisons page. Please contact OPB Institutional Analysis at email@example.com with any questions.
On Wednesday, Governor Inslee released his proposed 2017-19 biennial operating and capital budgets. For a detailed analysis and summary of the Governor’s proposals, please review the OPB brief.
The Governor’s ambitious spending plan relies on new revenue streams, including closing tax exemptions and establishing a new capital gains tax, to make significant investments in K-12 education, mental health, and homelessness. Funding for the UW would include salary increases for faculty and staff and additional enrollment capacity in the UW’s WWAMI medical education program.
The Governor would freeze resident undergraduate tuition across all public higher education institutions for two years, and would provide funding to cover the difference between the tuition freeze and incremental revenue expected under current policy. Finally, his plan would allocate $116 million to expand the State Need Grant Program to reduce the number of students who are currently eligible but unserved due to insufficient funding.
As a reminder, this budget release marks the first step of a lengthy budget process. Lawmakers in the Senate and the House will have the opportunity to release their own budget proposals over the course of the 2017 legislative session – set to begin on Monday, January 9, 2017.
Stay tuned to the OPBlog for updates during the 2017 legislative session.
On Wednesday, the Washington state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its November revenue forecast, which projected a slight increase to General Fund-State (GF-S) collections over the September revenue forecast. The GF-S revenue forecast increased by $215 million for the current 2015-17 biennium and $137 million for the 2017-19 biennium.
- Final GF-S revenue collections for the 2013-15 biennium were $33.666 billion.
- Total projected GF-S revenue for the 2015-17 biennium is now $37.980 billion, 12.8 percent more than the 2013-15 biennium.
- Total projected GF-S revenue for the 2017-19 biennium is now $40.514 billion, 6.7 percent more than the 2015-17 biennium.
- Total projected GF-S revenue for the 2019-21 biennium is now $43.656 billion, 7.8 percent more than the 2017-19 biennium.
Behind the numbers:
- The forecast attributes the higher projections due mainly to increases in retail sales tax and Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) collections.
- The forecast includes slightly stronger personal income and employment but lower housing permits.
- Concerns cited in the forecast include slow global and U.S. Economic Growth, weak labor productivity growth and uncertainty regarding fiscal and trade policy.
- Washington state employment is up by 13,500 net new jobs in September and October.
According to an article in the Tacoma News Tribune, this additional tax revenue will contribute to a 2017-19 state budget that is expected to be more than $40 billion. David Schumacher, Director of the Governor’s Office of Financial Management, stated that this increase in revenue “always helps, but it doesn’t solve the huge problems we’re facing.” One of the biggest problems Schumacher referred to is the Washington state Supreme Court’s mandate to increase K-12 education spending (McCleary v. State of Washington). While there is current debate about the estimated cost of complying with McCleary, the most commonly cited estimate is approximately $3.5 billion, and in Schumacher’s opinion “there’s broad agreement that we’re that neighborhood.”
Governor Jay Inslee will use this revenue forecast and estimates for complying with McCleary when crafting his state budget proposal, which will be released in mid-December in advance of the 2017 legislative session. Stay tuned to the OPBlog for updates on the Governor’s budget proposal when it is released.
Hello! My name is Matthew Schoenfeld and I am the 2016-2017 Legislative Analysis Intern with the Office of Planning & Budgeting. I am currently studying for a Master in Public Administration at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. I also conducted my undergraduate studies here at UW, earning my BA in Political Science and Law, Societies and Justice. Throughout the school year, I will be updating this blog with posts involving various higher education topics. Post may include, but are not limited to: federal and state legislative issues, reports discussing current trends in higher education, and UW-specific policy initiatives. I am excited to join the team and keep the UW community updated on what’s happening in the world of higher education.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback you may have. Thank you so much for reading!
Yesterday, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) released its September revenue forecast, which increased projected General Fund-State (GF-S) collections by $334 million for the current 2015-17 biennium and by $125 million for the upcoming 2017-19 biennium. As a reminder, there will be one more revenue forecast in November before Governor Inslee releases his proposed 2017-19 biennial budget in anticipation of the 2017 legislative session.
Here is a quick summary of the total projected GF-S revenue for each biennium:
- $37.765 billion for the 2015-17 biennium, 12.2 percent more than 2013-15
- $40.377 billion for the 2017-19 biennium, 6.9 percent more than 2015-17
- $43.630 billion for the 2019-21 biennium, 8.1 percent more than 2017-19
Behind the numbers:
- Revenue collections from June to September were $225 million higher than forecasted in June, but over half of that increase was attributed to several large (and one-time) audit-related payments of past-due taxes.
- This forecast noted slightly stronger personal income and employment compared to the June forecast.
- Strong retail sales, housing construction, and real estate excise tax (REET) collections continue to create positive revenue trends.
- Risks to the revenue forecast include weak labor productivity and slow economic growth (both in the U.S. and globally).
Any excess revenue collected in the 2015-17 biennium will contribute to reserves (est. $1.8 Billion) that will be available to spend in the 2017-19 biennium, however, the state continues to face significant budgetary challenges in complying with the State Supreme Court’s orders to fully fund K-12 education.
Stay tuned to the OPBlog for updates on revenue forecasts and the upcoming 2017 legislative session.
On September 15, 2016, OPB submitted the UW’s 2017-19 state operating budget request to the Governor’s Office of Financial Management. The UW is mindful of the continuing budget challenges facing the state of Washington and, thus, has limited its budget requests to the 11 most essential and strategic state investments for the 2017-19 biennium. These, along with a variety of mandatory reports and forms that make up a biennial state budget submission, are available on our website at the following location: 2017-19 Operating Budget Request
Here is a brief summary of our requests:
- Maintenance & Operations: For the Intellectual House, Burke Museum, Computer Science & Engineering expansion and UW Tacoma Urban Solutions facilities.
- WWAMI Spokane Continuation: To continue the recent increase of 20 UW medical students in Spokane to years three and four of their education program. The existing biennial budget funds these students for years one and two of the program.
- Marijuana Research: For additional marijuana research funding that was authorized in legislation during the 2015-17 biennium.
- Occupational Health Internship Management: For one full‐time staff member to help meet accreditation needs in the Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
- Competitive Compensation and Retention: For 4 percent salary and benefit increases in FY18 and FY19 for faculty and professional staff. Separate decision packages will be submitted for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements.
- Maintenance & Operations: For the Nano Engineering & Science Building and the Life Sciences Building.
- WWAMI Spokane Expansion: To expand the UW’s medical student education program in Spokane by an additional 20 students per cohort, starting in FY 2018.
- Tri-Campus Student Success Initiative: To expand programs at all three campuses that improve access, retention, graduation and career preparation, with an emphasis on first generation, low-income, underrepresented minority and transfer students—especially those in STEM fields.
- RIDE Expansion Bridge: To permit RIDE students to spend their second year of dental education in Spokane, rather than returning to Seattle. This program is in partnership with Eastern Washington University.
- High-Demand Enrollments: To expand instructional capacity and enrollment at all three campuses in high-demand fields, such as engineering, computer science, ocean engineering and cyber operations.
- Regenerative Medicine Institute: To support the Institute’s scientific cores, add new faculty, provide pilot grants to leverage federal research grants, support student research training and provide translational bridge awards to convert research breakthroughs into products with commercial potential.
- Additional Attachment: A request for a transportation budget appropriation for a Washington State Research Vessel to be operated by the UW and used by local, state, federal and tribal agencies.
Please contact Jed Bradley or Becka Johnson Poppe if you have questions.
A new brief from the Office of Planning & Budgeting provides an overview of Activity Based Budgeting (ABB) distribution principles and trends at the UW in Seattle. This brief updates last year’s overview of ABB trends, adding the most recent year’s data. It compares the ABB budgets of Seattle academic units to those of Seattle administrative units over the last six years (FY12-FY17).
OPB’s Institutional Analysis team and UW-IT’s Enterprise Information, Integration & Analytics unit announce seven new peer finance dashboards, available now in UW Profiles. These new dashboards join four existing peer dashboards. Peer dashboards use data publicly available through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to allow users to compare the UW to peer institutions around the country on a range of student- and finance-focused measures.
With the new finance dashboards, users can compare revenues, expenses, and endowment values at the UW and peer institutions. They can also explore the relative importance of different revenue sources and expense categories across institutions. The expenses story dashboard provides a step-by-step look at the expenses that directly or indirectly support universities’ research and instruction missions.
More information about each of the new peer finance dashboards is available through the online documentation. Please feel free to send any questions or comments to email@example.com.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions policy in its second consideration of a Fisher v. University of Texas appeal. As a reminder, the case stemmed from a lawsuit by Abigail Fisher, a white applicant to UT Austin who claimed she was unfairly rejected due to the university’s affirmative action admissions program. Since our last update, when the Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reconsider the case, the appellate court affirmed their decision in favor of UT, and Fisher again appealed that court’s decision to the Supreme Court. For additional background on this case, please see our previous two posts, found here and here.
The case was decided by an unusual 4-3 margin due to Justice Kagan’s recusal and the recent death of Justice Scalia. According to the NY Times, Justice Kennedy, who had never before voted to uphold an affirmative action plan, wrote for the majority that “…it remains an enduring challenge to our nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.”
This decision marks the end of the Fisher case, but the debate over affirmative action in higher education carries on.
Stay tuned to the OPBlog for updates.
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