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CWI officials say the college is losing money on dual credit courses

Normal tuition rates at CWI are more than double what it costs for a dual credit courses from high schools.

BOISE, Idaho — It's something a lot of Idaho teens take advantage of, the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. 

But it comes at a high cost to Idaho's colleges. And out of all of the colleges and universities in Idaho, the College of Western Idaho in Nampa is hit particularly hard.

For every dual credit course, a high school student takes through CWI, the college is reimbursed $65.

Normal tuition rates at CWI are more than double that at $139 per course credit.

"We lose a little bit on every credit we teach in dual credit," said CWI vice president Mark Browning.

Idaho's other seven state public colleges lose money too but not at the rate CWI does because of the sheer amount of dual credits CWI offers.

"It’s roughly 150,000 credits across the state, CWI is providing a third of all the dual credit in the state," Browning said. "We have roughly 10,000 dual credit students here and we deliver approximately 55,000 credits a year."

The State Board of Education can raise the dual credit reimbursement rate from $65 to $75 if they choose.

Any increase beyond that would require an act from the state legislature.

"They would have to adjust what's allowable under the Advanced Opportunities Fast Forward Code," Browning said.

Senator Steve Bair, a co-chair on the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, says this problem was just brought to light at a recent JFAC meeting.

Currently, there is no plan set in motion that would offset dual credit costs.

In the meantime, Browning wants parents and students to know, even though CWI is losing money, the college still very much encourages students to enroll in dual credits.

"We're very proud of the quality of the program and the instruction because it sets up a student and gets them on such a good path to go," Browning said.