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Letters to the Editor

Legacy funding

April 23, 2009

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To the editor:

The news that a so-called legacy scholarship program for children and grandchildren of Kansas University alumni living out of state is being implemented has been touted as a great step forward for the university and the state. There is more to this matter than has been openly discussed in the media, however. The program of lost revenue to the university and to the state has seemingly gone without expression of appropriate concern.

Tuition has historically paid about half the cost of university operations with the balance being made up from state support through appropriations based on taxes and, to some degree, from university endowment. The matter of unfunded scholarship support should be of some concern to the taxpayers of Kansas. The question comes, “Where will the money come from the pay for these discounts?”

Let me also raise some very basic issues regarding tuition discounts to this cohort of students. Applicants from out-of-state families have not likely paid taxes into the support of KU in the past and these students will, more often than not, leave Kansas following graduation, or before, and will not become taxpayers in Kansas.

There has been a substantial rationale for an out-of-state differential in tuition for many years, and I cannot find a suitable basis for changing that rule. If KU wants to change the rules, let them find the money from other sources than the state to subsidize this idea. The Legislature and the Board of Regents have been flummoxed on this venture.

Baldwin City

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