LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- The new state budget means some financial relief for college students across the state.
Lawmakers approved a tuition decrease of 5% for community college students.
Like many college students Austin Abeyta had a burden to pay off.
“I was already $24,000 in debt,” Abeyta said Tuesday.
The price of a degree scared him so he dropped out of a university in Colorado.
He's now attending Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood because it is more affordable than a four-year university.
“As college students, we are scraping by,” Abeyta said.
But starting this fall, more than 380,000 community college students in Washington will get a break.
The 5% tuition decrease for community college students mean a savings of $50 per quarter.
Students say any help is a big relief.
Kevin McKay, vice president of Finance & Operations at Edmonds Community College, called the tuition decrease unprecedented.
“Historical record -- we have never seen the tuition drop before,” McKay said.
It's a bigger decrease when it comes to four-year universities.
Tuition will drop by 15% for the University of Washington and Washington State University.
UW tuition costs about $12,000 a year for residents. This fall, in-state students will save more than $1,800.
WSU students will save about $1,700 a year.
For regional universities, such as Western Washington, Eastern Washington and Evergreen State, it's a 20% cut in tuition for students there.
“It’s great; they are moving in the right direction,” Abeyta said.
Now, a full-time community college student will pay about $3,000 a year. It's still a stretch for Abeyta but he believes his computer science degree will be worth the burden in the long run.
“If I can make it through here, it will be OK in the end,” Abeyta said.