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Olympic College board considers waiver change

The Olympic College Board of Trustees is considering proposed changes to the school’s optional tuition waiver program at its meeting Tuesday.

Under state law, the college has the option to offer tuition waivers to students meeting certain criteria. The Legislature revised the community college tuition fee waivers policy in July 2003.

For the past year an OC task force researched the school’s current waiver policies and aligned them better with the state’s changes, said Rick MacLennan, vice president for student services at the college and task force chairman.

The biggest proposed change in the optional waiver program would affect non-resident students. Colleges may choose to waive all or part of the difference between resident and non-resident operating fees. The current policy waives 100 percent of the operating portion for discharged military non-residents and their dependents up to a year following the discharge date. The new policy would offer a 66 percent waiver on the difference between non-resident and resident operating tuition fees for all non-residents, U.S. citizens or refugees. A $15 per credit fee would be added for all credits.

“It is hoped people who move here would not have their education interrupted,” MacLennan said.

Active military and their dependents are considered residents. That policy has not changed.

The task force looked at which waivers were accepted by the 34 other community colleges in the state. Because these waivers are optional, some schools did not offer any, and some school such as OC offer quite a few.

“We had to look at what makes sense for (OC),” MacLennan said.

Two campus forums were held, campus-wide e-mails outlining the proposal were sent out and the information was presented to the Board of Trustees at a recent study session. The board meets 7 p.m. Tuesday at the College Service Center boardroom.

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