Audit: CWU used student fees inappropriately

SEATTLE — A state audit has found that Central Washington University violated the intent of the law when it charged $1.3 million in administrative expenses to a fund meant for student activities.

The Seattle Times reported Friday that CWU was charging the student fund to pay for basic operations of the Ellensburg university, including public safety, groundskeeping and alumni relations, rather than using the fund exclusively for expenses directly related to student activities.

University administrators say they will probably refund some of the money, but say it’s still proper to charge administrative overhead to the mandatory fee collected for student activities.

Both Western Washington University and Eastern Washington University also charge students an administrative overhead fee, although they say the charge is directly related to administering student activities. Both charge students less than a third of what CWU is charging this year.

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