YAKIMA, Wash.--Yakima Valley Community College held its 82nd Commencement Ceremony, Thursday evening at Parker Field in Yakima.
The college is awarding 967 degrees and certificates to 858 students, the oldest of which is 74 yrs. old. But as school officials ready for another class to exit, continued budget cuts and falling financial aid funds have them concerned for the students they are teaching right now.
"With the tuition increase and fewer financial aid dollars students may end up borrowing more loans or it might affect their enrollment," said Leslie Blackaby, Dean of Student Services at YVCC.
School officials say that typically 2/3 of the entire student body receive some sort of help from the state and school. But due to the hurting economy and bad budget, financial aid is being slashed every year. Blackaby says that tuition could increase up to 12% and that 2/3 of the state work study could be reduced in the coming year.
Until final enrollment numbers are reached for the fall, she says they won't be able to tell if the budget cuts are affecting students enough to stop them from going to school.