NAMPA - The reality of the price of college is staggering. The average semester tuition cost is up over 200 percent from 30 years ago from $3,200 to an average of $10,000 today. Fees and tuition will cost close to $8,000 for undergraduate students at Boise State University and University of Idaho.

The increase in costs is making community college look more appealing for many students. When comparing a community college to a four-year public university it's about $150 less per credit.

We caught up with Samantha Johnson at the College of Western Idaho. She was studying for her RN degree alongside her youngest daughter. Her oldest will graduate in the spring.

"She was able to get a lot of the credits she needs for the degree she wants here at CWI for a fourth of the cost and then she's transferring to the larger university when she's done," said Johnson.

CWI hasn't raised tuition or fees in three years. CWI President Berton Glandon says they are always trying to find ways to keep the cost of education low.

CWI now has more than 30,000 students with seven campuses throughout southwest Idaho. Glandon thinks enrollment will only grow.

"There's an overall decline in people going to school," said Glandon. "We're still looking at increases and I think it's because we haven't gotten close to serving the marketplace."

Four-year institutions do have higher operating costs - from maintaining student housing to athletics. That's why you'll see higher increases in fees and tuition there compared to community colleges.

CWI is glad to offer a more affordable option if students decide it's the right path for them.