The Washington Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) met yesterday to begin work on a report that will not be finalized until 2018. The intention of starting now is to ensure that the data needed to complete the analysis is in place over time in order to meet legislative intent.
The focus of the presentation to the Committee was on the proposed scope and objectives of the report which will result in an audit of the impact of tuition-setting authority to public, baccalaureate institutions (HB 1795) and the creation of the Opportunity Scholarships and Opportunity Expansion program (HB 2088).
Specifically the Committee will look at the impact of institutional tuition-setting authority on student access and affordability as well as on institutional quality. In addition the report will evaluate institution’s compliance with specific provisions in HB 1795. Among those provisions:
- Changes in undergraduate enrollment, retention, and graduation by race and ethnicity, gender, state and county of origin, age, and socioeconomic status;
- Impact on student transferability, particularly from Washington community and technical colleges;
- Changes in time and credits to degree;
- Changes in the number and availability of online programs undergraduate enrollments in the programs;
- Changes in enrollments in the running start and other dual enrollment programs;
- Impacts on funding levels for state student financial aid programs;
- Any changes in the percent of students who apply for student financial aid using the FAFSA;
- Any changes in the percent of students who apply for available tax credits;
- Information on the sue of building fee revenue by fiscal or academic year; and
- Undergraduate tuition and fee rates compared to undergraduate tuition and fee rates at similar institutions in the global challenge states.
With regard to the Opportunity Scholarship and Opportunity Expansion program the focus will also be on student access and affordability.
Both of the pieces of legislation require a JLARC study in 2018. The Committee plans to combine the two studies into one report.