The tuition is currently $4,644 a quarter. The program runs year round. That $4,644 is for credits 1-7 without fees. 8-18 are the same price. In two weeks, tuition will be $6633 without fees. The UW Medical Center and Harborview have attracted nurses for years and put their own nurses through advanced practice education using the tuition exemption that you speak of. This is where they paid credits 1-6 and the student/employee paid for credit 7. Individuals currently in the FNP program under this agreement have been paying about $650 a quarter (1 credit).
They were informed last Monday that this will change to $6633+ in 3 weeks since the move to educational outreach or extension (EO) does not allow for any waivers, expemptions and it knocks out most TA/RA positions. Additionally the move to EO raises the cap from 7-9 credits for all students in the FNP (At the new rate of ~$737 a quarter, this is $1480). So, this is a 43% increase in tuition from spring to summer quarter for FNP students with 3 weeks notice. It is an 800% increase for students participating under an exemption program.
The medical school students have been assured that they will not be affected by this budget crisis in a similar manner (although they may see a 14% increase like everyone else.)
This move to EO was a decision made by the very top level of administration. Possibly unilaterally by the dean. What they are effectively doing is diverting state money from the FNP to other areas of the SoN, divorcing the program from its others and sending it to EO along with GEPN. Sending the program to EO forces the students in the program to be "self-sustaining" by paying the full cost of every morsel of their education, for faculty, clinicals, labs and the like.
The state legislature in Washington approved a 14% tuition increase this year. The SoN is skirting that by moving its FNP program to EO because this is a form of "quasi-privatization" where the SoN can make adjustments as it sees fit and the state cannot regulate the tuition levels.
The state further cut 26% to the university as a whole and the university handed down a 10% cut to the SoN.
To remedy this, the move to EO of the FNP program makes up for the entire SoN shortfall with the addition of the elimination of 1 position ($50,000 savings) and a freeze on departmental travel and a few other incidentals.
All other nurse practitioner programs are speculated to follow. The decision isn't set in stone yet, but we have been told that it is the plan.
So, 3 years of FNP at the current rate of $6633 a quarter for 4 quarters plus 5 quarters of GEPN for those who are getting their BSN through that route at $38,000 adds up to $124,000 tuition w/o books, fees, living expenses or incidentals.
This is very expensive and comes very close to a medical degree at the same PUBLIC university. Cost was a decision for many who chose between nursing and medicine. Philosophy, time and other considerations were most probably there too, but the main point is that this isn't sustainable. FNP's simply do not have the earning power MD's do. One suggestion by the dean was that we could enter loan repayment programs. To cover an estimated $200,000 in loans with such programs a student would have to sign up for 3-4 different programs at 2-4 years each! That would be the first ~12 years of your career!
Additionally, students did not sign up for this or make their decisions based on such a bold financial move. Moving to EO significantly limits access to state funded scholarships
because of its privatized status (as those in GEPN know because they were shut out of tons of BSN level nursing scholarships), it reduces creative work/tuition exemption programs, and it allows the SoN to tweak tutition as it sees fit free from oversight.
The students currently accepted into the program want grandfathering in to the agreement that they signed up for. This does not mean "no tuition increases" it means state regulated tuition increases for the NP portions of their programs.
Also, the most shocking element of this entire situation has been the poor communication on the administration's part. A few weeks notice of such a major change in so many individuals futures is not acceptable. Especially when concern from students is met with the fact that they are dispensible as there is a LONG waitlist for this program and someone else will take their place. Also, the incoming GEPN's should have known ASAP so that they could have made informed decisions about their futures. With their program starting in 2 weeks, they have all likely given up their spots at other universities where they were dually accepted. Had everyone been informed that this was a possiblilty last fall, current students could have applied at other schools for January deadlines. They could transfer or start new programs this coming fall. This lack of communication is extremely inconsiderate and disrespectful to UW SON students and will significantly impact the health of Washington state.