Shawnee Dispatch

KU proposes even larger tuition increase in response to budget cuts

University now requesting 5 percent increase instead of 4 percent increase proposed last month

June 13, 2016

Kansas University is now proposing a 5 percent tuition increase for the upcoming school year, an even larger hike than the 4 percent increase proposed a month ago.

The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on revised tuition proposals from KU and other state universities on Wednesday. Numbers made public this week by the Regents show that, like KU, most universities did elect to ask for even larger tuition increases than initially planned.

The board heard universities’ tuition proposals at its May meeting, but midway through the day’s presentations learned that Gov. Sam Brownback signed the state budget and ordered additional allotment cuts to higher education, including cuts to KU that were millions more than expected.

KU’s newly proposed tuition increase is in response to those cuts, university spokesman Joe Monaco said.

“The budget reduction for the KU Lawrence campus was more than we had anticipated,” he said.

Increasing Lawrence campus tuition the additional 1 percent is expected to bring in an additional $1.8 million for KU, universitywide, Monaco said.

Overall, the new proposed tuition and required fee increases would generate $9.1 million in additional ongoing funding for the Lawrence campus per year, and $2.1 million in additional ongoing funding for KU Medical Center, a total of $11.2 million per year, Monaco said.

Brownback’s May 18 action means a $7 million cut from what had previously been approved for the upcoming fiscal year for KU’s Lawrence campus, about 5.1 percent lower than what lawmakers had initially approved when they adopted a two-year budget during the 2015 legislative session. The KU Medical Center was also targeted for a $3.7 million cut, bringing the total cut for the KU system to $10.7 million.

Under KU’s new tuition proposal, an in-state undergraduate student would pay $4,789 per semester, which is $228 or 5 percent more than last year’s cost, according to proposals provided by the Regents. (Including required fees, the student would pay $5,274 per semester.)

An out-of-state undergraduate student would pay $12,480 in tuition, a $594 or 5 percent increase from last year’s cost, if KU’s proposal is approved. (With required fees, the total cost would be $12,965 for the out-of-state student.)

Incoming KU freshmen, for the second year, may opt to pay a compact tuition rate instead — significantly higher, but locked in for four years.

KU’s proposed compact rate for in-state undergraduates is $5,242 per semester (or $5,727 including required fees). That’s a tuition increase of $297, or 6 percent, over the 2015-16 compact rate.

In May all the state universities’ proposed tuition increases already were larger than they were the previous year, when the Legislature imposed a 3.6 percent cap on tuition increases. KU had proposed a 4 percent increase, Emporia State had proposed a 3.9 percent increase, and the rest proposed 5 percent increases.

Now, universities are proposing increases ranging from 4.9 percent at Emporia to 6 percent at Fort Hays State.

Only two campuses are not proposing larger increases than they did in May. KU Medical Center’s and Wichita State’s proposed tuition increases both remain at 5 percent.

KU’s proposed standard tuition of $4,789 for in-state undergrads remains the most expensive in the state. Fort Hays is still by far the cheapest, with an in-state undergrad tuition of $1,894 per semester proposed for 2016-17.

Originally published at: