BOISE — The rising cost of higher education and how to bring it down is something we've wrestled with for quite some time.
One possible solution introduced by Boise State University is called the Passport to Education.
The university is looking to partner with businesses and organizations to drive down the cost of getting a degree by providing a subscription-based rate.
Instead of a traditional tuition, there's a monthly subscription fee. There are two different options: one is taking six credit hours per term for $425 each month. The second is taking nine credits each term for $550 each month.
“When you're adding up that cost you're actually paying less than an in-state tuition to begin with,” said Gordon Jones, Dean of the College of Innovation and Design. “And you're doing it in a monthly budgeting way that might help you prevent or reduce the needs for more debt. Something that really creates a burden for a lot of working individuals in Idaho and beyond.”
CapEd Credit Union is BSU’s first partner and their 75,000 members are eligible to enroll.
The university is looking for more partners. BSU hosted a luncheon Tuesday where they invited different organizations, businesses and associations to learn more about the program.
The business or organization would provide the program to their members, so they have access to an affordable online education.
Jones says while CapEd is the only partnership now other associations, businesses and organizations have expressed interest in teaming up. That’s something he says will help address problems individuals face like cost and student debt and providing students with skills employers are demanding.
“Public universities today,” he said. “If we don't address access and affordability and great outcomes that empower our students and graduates, we're missing the mark. And Passport to Education is one of a range of different things that we offer from on campus to online for individual Idahoans and beyond to get the degrees, the education or the skills they need to live an empowered life.”
Enrollment begins in the fall for classes that start in January.