Out-of-state talent for in-state price

In his opening remarks of the October session of the 2012 LDS General Conference, Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced the age at which its members could serve as missionaries was lowered from 19 to 18 for men, and from 21 to 19 for women. As thousands of young LDS members began preparing for their missions in light of the announcement, Utah Valley University experienced an immediate 8 percent drop in enrollment, according to the UVU Enrollment Management Office. “We knew immediately it would affect us,” said Michelle Taylor, vice president of enrollment management. “What we didn’t know was how fast it would affect us. We had students that withdrew the Monday after conference. We had students who didn’t come back for the spring.” To help offset deep cuts to revenue due to the enrollment decline, the state is considering Senate Bill 51. Passed in both the Senate and the House of the Utah State Legislature on Feb. 28, S.B. 51 would allow university presidents to waive higher tuition fees for out-of-state students with above average academic performance. The bill was proposed by Utah Sen. Stephen Urquhart in an effort to close the financial chasm created by the exodus of thousands of missionary-aged students. For UVU, that gap is about $10 million. Though it is uncertain just how administration will go...

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