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University of Wyoming trustees approve shift to block tuition

A stone building called Old Main on the University of Wyoming campus in the summer
CC BY-SA 3.0

Students at the University of Wyoming will soon be able to take extra courses free of charge because the state's only university is moving to block tuition.

Right now, university students pay tuition on a per-credit basis. For example, if they're a full-time undergraduate Wyoming resident taking 12 credit hours, they're charged $160 per credit. If they want to add a class and go up to 15 credits, they'll be charged for each of those additional three credits.

But the UW Board of Trustees voted this month to implement a block tuition model. That means a full-time student – whether they're taking 12 credits or 18 – will pay the same flat rate.

UW Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kyle Moore told the trustees the goal is to encourage students to take at least 15 credits per semester.

"There's lots of studies that show that when students take that 15 or 16 hours per semester, the likelihood that they're going to graduate on time or early is significantly increased," he said.

The Board of Trustees voted to implement block tuition last week, and it will take effect next year, alongside a four percent tuition hike.

Student Senate President Allison Brown signaled her support for the new tuition model, but she told the trustees that not all students were so supportive.

"I think at this time students do not see this as free tuition or free credits if you take 18 a semester," Brown said. "I think they see it as potentially just being up-charged."

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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