Skyrocketing tuition increases at state colleges and universities are making it difficult for students and their parents to afford higher education. One state lawmaker has a bill that would give students more participation in finding efficiencies that could affect the cost of tuition. Representative JT Wilcox of Yelm remembers paying less than a thousand dollars a year for tuition at Washington State University in the 1980s. But the days of cheap tuition are long gone. Last summer, University of Washington students asked Wilcox what they could do to reduce tuition costs. The 2nd district lawmaker came up with legislation that would create a committee of students at the state’s four-year institutions to find cost efficiencies.

The student auditing committees, created under house bill 2478, would report their findings to the state board of regents annually. Wilcox believes ideas that come from students could bring reforms and efficiencies to higher education. The bill is awaiting action by the house higher education committee.