Topeka A Kansas Board of Regents task force is considering a plan to allow academically gifted out-of-state students to attend regents universities at resident tuition rates.
The tuition task force, scheduled to finish its work in February, is considering a program giving a tuition break for non-residents who have achieved a 3.5 grade-point average in the regents recommended curriculum.
The task force's proposals probably will be considered by board members this spring and by the Kansas Legislature in 1991, said Stanley Koplik, regents executive director.
If the program were implemented at current tuition rates, it would represent an annual savings of $1,500 for each of the eligible students at Kansas University.
"IT WOULD be a wise investment for Kansas to attract the most academically talented students," Koplik said. "It would improve the overall quality of the student body."
Regent Robert Creighton, chairman of the task force charged with formulating a five-year tuition strategy, said of the plan: "We're opening new territory in Kansas. It's a bold action. I like the idea myself."
The task force, which includes KU Chancellor Gene Budig, met Wednesday to discuss a draft of the report. The group was formed in June by the regents to identify and propose solutions to long-term tuition issues.
The task force has made an attempt to identify fee-cost ratio (tuition revenue divided by educational expenditure) benchmarks that could be used by regents as they consider tuition rate proposals.
According to the report, tuition rates should continue to be subject to a broad array of forces, including inflation, changes in per capita income and tuition charged by peer institutions in other states.
However, the task force agreed upon four fee-cost ranges that provide general guidelines on how much of the cost to educate a student should be covered by tuition. They are: overall regents system, 25 to 33 percent of the cost of an education would be covered by tuition; doctoral universities, 25 to 35 percent; regional universities, 20 to 30 percent; and non-resident students, not less than 50 percent.
ALL EXISTING fee-cost tuition ratios would fall within the proposed guidelines. The main concern for regents is the consequence of allowing the tuition rate to fall below the minimum, Koplik said.
Budig expressed reservation about one of the ranges. He convinced the group to change the non-resident student benchmark of 50 to 75 percent to no more than 50 percent.
The change was cosmetic and wouldn't force the regents to lose any flexibility, he said, but the 75 percent maximum might scare away out-of-state students interested in a regents university.
The report also contains a recommendation for the board to refrain from authorizing special academic restricted use fees except when there is a compelling reason and all other sources have been exhausted.
Koplik said he didn't believe that an engineering student fee proposed last year, which was rejected by regents, could be justified under the task force's new plan.