Five universities have served as benchmarks for Kansas University since 1976.
And again during discussions of a potential tuition increase, the schools the universities of Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Oklahoma and Oregon are playing a key role.
KU Provost David Shulenburger has framed his tuition-increase "scenarios" around how much money it would take to equal the average budget amounts for the five peer institutions.
The peer universities were chosen by the Kansas Board of Regents 25 years ago as a way to evaluate its funding procedures.
The peers were selected using a formula that was based on these factors:
60 percent on academic programs offered.
30 percent by enrollment numbers.
10 percent on financial data.
Also, peers were to be chosen in the same state for KU and Kansas State.
Each of the Regents schools has five peers. Emporia State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State share the same peers.
The last review of peer schools was in 1995. Though peers have changed for other Regents schools, they have remained the same for KU and Kansas State.
"For credibility purposes, it's better if your peers don't change much over time," Shulenburger said. "Peers would be more questioned if you changed them frequently."
Data collected from the schools are used to compare everything from faculty workload and salaries to library services.
"They've been so well received by the other five institutions that three routinely request the analysis of the data," said Deb Teeter, KU's director of institutional research and planning.
Shulenburger also considered comparisons with Big 12 universities and the public universities of the Association of American Universities when developing his presentation on a potential tuition increase.
The AAU is an organization of 63 universities 34 public, 29 private that place a strong emphasis on research.