SEATTLE - The sound of yelling and laughing could be heard around Husky Stadium. 4,500 incoming University of Washington freshman were taking part in a four year old New Student Orientation program designed to integrate the new classmates into the Husky ways.
"It starts the day they start here," says UW Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor. "We start by building an identity of being a Husky and so we want them to be lifelong citizens of the university."
When you come to college it's a very tough time" says UW grad and current MBA candidate Frances Youn. "I can understand where these students are coming from."
The 1998 graduate wishes she had a new student orientation program like the one started just four years ago.
This is also the second year new students face a 14-percent hike in tuition. The University says it was forced to raise tuition as state funding was cut.
This summer Youn was elected to the Board of Regent as the student representative. As a graduate student, she sympathizes with students having pay more for a degree," I have a lot of student loans . Really a lot of us our taking a leap of faith..... We know its the right thing to do"
"It's brutal. We are already thinking 5 more years.," says Linda Harrison, the parents of an incoming freshman.
The Woodinville mother already is paying out-of-state tuition for another son attending Arizona State University. Next year, Harrison's youngest daughter also wants to attend U.W.
"Just going to work really hard going to work 20 hours a day," said Harrison. Still she insists the UW Tuition is a bargain, "For what you are getting here, It's phenomenal."
The Harrison's expect their children to continue to pass on the legacy of paying for their kids college educations ."Pass it down. They have to promise us to pass it down to their children."
Earlier this month, the Board of Regents met to deal with another 6 percent across the board cuts that will cut into the University's budget.
"So our job is to protect them and make sure they start their year off right" says Taylor, who along with other administrators want to shield the students from the budget mess in order to allow them a safe environment to learn and grow.
"We will worry about the budget, we will worry about finances, we will worry about all the things that should not get in the way of their learning."