Archive for Tuesday, February 3, 2009

KU pushes for legacy tuition plan for out-of-state descendants of alumni

Program would allow nonresident relatives of alumni to attend at reduced prices

February 3, 2009


— Kansas University officials Tuesday asked lawmakers to allow them to grant tuition breaks to students from out of state who are children or grandchildren of KU alumni.

The so-called legacy tuition plan would help bring top-quality students from other states who may be inclined to stay in Kansas after they graduate, KU Provost Richard Lariviere said.

That would benefit the Kansas economy, help KU compete against neighboring states that have similar legacy policies, and better manage enrollment in the face of declining numbers of high school graduates in Kansas, Lariviere said.

“We have also been told repeatedly by our alumni who are outside the state of Kansas, they would dearly love to send their children to KU if we could only provide some scholarship,” Lariviere said to the House Higher Education Committee.

House Bill 2007 would authorize the Kansas Board of Regents to consider and approve a broader range of tuition waivers as proposed by state universities. Higher education officials said all six regents universities supported the measure.

Four KU executives spoke in favor of the legislation, as did Lydia Peele, president of the Kansas State University student body.

“This bill would give flexibility to K-State by allowing us to adjust tuition for selected, talented nonresident students seeking to attend K-State,” Peele said. No one testified against the bill.

The Higher Education Committee took no action on the measure, but several members had concerns.

State Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita, said he feared that lowering out-of-state tuition for some students would result in the universities losing tuition dollars.

But KU officials said they believed that wouldn’t happen because many students who otherwise wouldn’t have attended KU will enroll.

State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, said the specific plan outlined by KU wasn’t included in the bill. But higher education officials said the bill was designed to let the regents review each school’s plan and determine if it made sense.

State Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said he supported the concept but that the legislation needed to be tightened up.

“Maybe we need language to get to where we all want to be,” Rhoades said.

Danny Anderson, vice president for academic affairs at KU, said the school has proposed the Jayhawk Generations Tuition Plan.

It would be offered to out-of-state students who meet KU admissions requirements and have at least one parent, grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from KU.

Currently out-of-state tuition is nearly $10,000 more per year than tuition for Kansas residents. That out-of-state tuition rate is about 45 percent more than the actual cost of a KU education, Anderson said.

So under the plan, officials could lower that tuition, but not any lower than the cost of an education, KU said.

Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success at KU, said the school typically admits about 450 students each year who would be eligible for Jayhawk Generation Tuition Plan. But only about 150 of those end up attending.

The difference in out-of-state and resident tuition, Roney said, “is an obstacle for many.”

Kevin Corbett, president and chief executive officer of the KU Alumni Association, said not having a legacy program puts KU at a disadvantage in recruiting quality students against states that do have such programs.

The Black Alumni chapter of the KU Alumni Association also submitted testimony in favor of the bill, saying it would help the state economy and increase diversity at the school.


Shardwurm 9 years, 4 months ago

The difference between resident tuition and having to survive "is an obstacle for everyone."Higher education is over-priced and it's going to kill our future.

The_Bends 9 years, 4 months ago

This program seems like a great idea. Considering all of the alumni that have left the state over the past few decades, this program could really give KU the enrollment boost it will need when the number of KS high school graduates begins to dwindle. If only our legislators would realize that short-changing education will have disastrous consequences. It's just too bad the religious fundamentalists and partisans continue to steer the legislative agenda toward counter-productive topics that have zero economic merit and little salience to our daily lives.

Shardwurm 9 years, 4 months ago

"If only our legislators would realize that short-changing education will have disastrous consequences."LOL! If only educators would realize they're destroying the middle class!

gccs14r 9 years, 4 months ago

If the Regents would admit that we don't need all the institutions in the Regents system, higher ed wouldn't be so expensive and we could afford to take care of the remaining buildings.

KS 9 years, 4 months ago

Does this include illegal aliens?

KU_cynic 9 years, 4 months ago

Some important questions:1. Can the children of a KU alumnus qualify for a break to attend KSU, and vice versas? If the regents are going to get serious about focusing on different institutions' strengths and eliminating redundancies, there will need to be reciprocity so that a legacy from KSU who wants to focus on a KU program of strength (or vice versas) can do so.2. If there is legacy reciprocity between KSU and KU, what about Wichita State alumni, Pittsburg State alumni, etc.? Where does the "legacy" privilege begin and end? 3. Does an alumnus have to have earned a degree for his progeny to gain legacy status? Given that the "did not complete degree" rate for freshman who start at KU is something like 35% this is important.4. Let's take this even farther. Suppose a talented kid's Kansas born and raised parents didn't attend a four-year institution due to lack of resources or lack of academic ambitions/talents. Why should such a Kansas "expatriate" now living out-of-state be penalized in college choices because his parents were not privileged in their youth?

backyardwino 9 years, 4 months ago

If it's such an obstacle, then move to Kansas, work, pay taxes and enjoy Kansas for a year, then go to school and enjoy paying in-state tuition. Tax dollars are the ones that will make up paying the difference. So upper-middle class Chicago kids can come here and clog our streets with their BMW's

oakfarm 9 years, 4 months ago

Let me get this straight: Offering in-state tuition to children of those who chose to leave the state, believing that this will prevent these same students from leaving the state, just like their parents did? It didn't work for the parents, why expect it to work on the kids? And why assume that these will be "selected, talented" applicants? Why not make KU more attractive to "selected, talented" in-state students?

coolmom 9 years, 4 months ago

maybe parents left the state not because they wanted to but for job opportunities?

Peetro1981 9 years, 4 months ago

Toe - really?The population in western Kansas is dwindling. 90+% of KSU students are from Kansas. 69% of KU students are from Kansas....meaning KU has much more of an ability to attract students all over the world.On another note - KU ACT average is more than a full two points higher, KU has more students and more diversity, a better national reputation, and is ranked MUCH higher in all public university rankings, has much more money - the message: The KU portfolio is much more valuable and the gap is widening. KU will never be unseated as the Flagship in Kansas - simply better in Research, Academics, Endowment/Alumni, and Athletics.Stop posting on subjects that you apparently know nothing about

Janet Lowther 9 years, 4 months ago

Somehow, I don't think this is constitutional: This would be effectively creating an aristocracy, a class given special privileges because of who their ancestors were rather than their own characteristics.

The_Twelve 9 years, 4 months ago

These "legacy" students are exactly the ones who should be mined for tuition $$$s. If their parents are so gung-ho about KU, they will pay for it, right? In any case, why doesn't the Provost just go to Endowment and try and find the money there? That's been the excuse nothing else gets done at KU--"Endowment doesn't have the dollars because donors don't specifically give for this/that purpose." Now there will be one more little program, competing with all the others, that donors can choose to donate to.RE: the idea that a job and paying taxes in KS leads to in-state tuition. That's b.s. (by experience)RE: the idea that one might find a job in KS after graduation. HA!! KU shows no concern over whether or not its grads find employment, or where. Do you want to prove otherwise? Well, Lariviere, why don't you help me? I have a newly-minted degree with an excellent resume and am barely surviving at the poverty level. I don't even make enough to pay my rent every month. How are you doing on your measly six-figure salary??

sailor 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, this is great news. Both wife and I KU grads and have 2 kids. Moved out of KC because of job transfer. One is getting ready to go off to college this coming fall. We have drilled "Rock Chalk" into them. They want to go to KU but under the circumstances, they won't. Except us, most of our relatives are still in KC. I would send them to KU if this was passed. Who do I call to to sign up and how do I find out about the progress?

samsnewplace 9 years, 4 months ago

Everytime I read this type of article it makes me so glad my kids are almost done with KU. They are working their tails off at part-time jobs, paying their own way and their costs go up yearly. Is any thought ever given to just your average kid out there trying to make it? Tuition has gone up the past three years or more in a row. I'll be so glad when they are finished and then I can ignore these type of articles that gripe me tremendously.Shardwurm loved your post!

Danielle Brunin 9 years, 4 months ago

"Legacy" students. Yeah, KU wishes it was that prestigious. i thought legacies were only for rich kids who can't cut getting in to Ivy League schools (GWB comes to mind)Here's an idea. How about rather than giving tuition breaks to illegal immigrants and rich kids, we give tuition breaks to kids who are working their tails off to graduate college without assistance from their parents. KU is so greedy.

middleoftheroad 9 years, 4 months ago

First, I don't believe this article said anything about legacy students paying in-state tuition costs. Simply, they would pay less than out-of-state costs but their charge is not yet determined. Keep in mind that in-state tuition is what the BOR has determined the value of the education to be. Secondly, a legacy is exactly what is stated in the article - a student who has a parent or grandparent who is an alum of KU. It has nothing to do with prestige. For instance, I'm a legacy because one of my parents attended KU yet there is nothing rich about my history...believe me!!! I'll have student loans until I'm 90 (or so it seems). Lastly, I can't believe the disdain for this article and topic! As an alum who grew up in Kansas yet moved away with my family during my junior year of high school, I chose to attend KU because the majority of my family was still in the KC area. It was the logical choice (minus the financial downside) but the timing worked out to where I was considered out-of-state.For everyone upset about the in-state students, they're paying the cost of the education. Out-of-state students are paying considerably more. How is that unfair to in-state students? Last I checked, rich kids and illegal immigrants aren't getting tuition breaks. No one is getting tution breaks outside of scholarships (which are awarded based upon merit). Basically, KU is willing to not overprice the education for legacies as much as it has done in the past. How is this greedy? KU is saying we want to attract kids from varying parts of the country (which enhances diversity) and help to continue on family traditions. Yet somehow this is a bad thing??? I will also point out that the cost of everything has gone up in the past few years (groceries, gas, etc.) so how is tuition any different?

Jock Navels 9 years, 4 months ago

anecdotal evidence: my father came to kansas from a neighboring state to get a masters degree and study under phog allen. he stayed in kansas. i graduated from ku some 20 yrs later. my son graduated from ku 24 yrs after that. a brother who lives in a neighboring state had 2 kids graduate from ku. both have professions and live in kansas. my children both now live out of state, but if my grandchildren could pay at least close to in state tuition, they would probably attend ku. none of us is wealthy beyond measure, we are not rich. we are generally frugal mid-western middle class folks. this legacy tuition is a good idea.i also remember years ago, high school buddies living and working for a year in colorado so as to qualify for in state tuition at colorado's colleges and universities. the playgrounds were nicer out there, more fun at that is a valid alternative.

Danielle Brunin 9 years, 4 months ago

Believe me, I understand that not everyone who would be considered a KU legacy is wealthy. After all, they went to KU (J/K, that's what I always tell the Alumni Assoc. when they call asking for money) Ivy League legacies typically are from well-to-do families. However, neither one of my parents went to college. If I live in Indiana for example, why should I have to pay full out-of-state tuition when someone whose parent went to KU, and is presumably wealthier because of that degree, doesn't have to? It just doesn't seem fair. I'm working just as hard as they are. I don't begrudge ordinary people because this could potentially benefit my child in the future. However, it just seems like KU is pandering to wealthy alumni to get more money and putting money over the needs of many students. That's why they are greedy.

Danielle Brunin 9 years, 4 months ago

By the way, illegal immigrants in Kansas do get tuition breaks.'m not actually opposed to this, but I do think it's an important example of middle class families being left out in higher education.

beawolf 9 years, 4 months ago

Shardwurm says: "Higher education is over-priced and it's going to kill our future."....."If only educators would realize they're destroying the middle class!"....Pointless comments with no factual basis. What;s going to kill this country is the lack of emphasis and support for higher education. samsnewplace says:"Tuition has gone up the past three years or more in a row."...Have you asked yourself why tuition is increasing? When you reduce funding to an entity that has been primarily funded with public monies, the only way they can continue is to charge more to cover their costs. If our society deems higher ed is not worth supporting, then so be it. Costs will escalate until universities are self supporting, basically private entities. Scholarships, Pell grants and other subsidies will not be offered. Now we are back to the 17th and 18th centuries where higher education was exclusive to only those who could afford it. You wouldn't have to be glad your children are "almost out of there", because they would never have been able to go in the first place.

Jack Martin 9 years, 4 months ago

There have been some inaccurate figures presented here that I’d like to address. First, KU’s Fall 2008 Lawrence headcount is 26,999. Overall, KU has a record headcount of 30,102 this year, so the references to the number of students at KU having decreased since 2004 are not true. KU also enrolls more Kansans than any other institution (20,999), and with Pittsburg State and Wichita State, KU is one of only three Regents institutions to see growth in resident enrollment since 2003. KU also saw record diversity this year, with 12.7 percent of KU students identifying as American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, African-American or Latino. Secondly, with regards to the Jayhawk Generations Tuition Plan, I’d like to emphasize again that at no point would the tuition rate paid by out-of-state students in the plan go below the actual cost of educating those students. This is to avoid having Kansas taxpayers subsidize out-of-state students. Also, the price in-state students pay is roughly half the cost of their education, with the remainder of the cost being covered by Kansas taxpayers and by the fact that the tuition rate out-of-state students pay is more than the actual cost of their education. Jack MartinUniversity Communications

RiverCityConservative 9 years, 4 months ago

Personally, I like the idea that is beingfloated regarding a new tuition categorybetween out-of-state and in-state, andtargeting children of KU grads living outsidethe state. I have met a number of kU gradsin other places outside of Kansas—thereare high numbers in NYC, for example,doing some of the best jobs in that town.KU graduates who relocate outside thestate do a lot to bring further prestige tothe university. This is a nice way torecognize them and their families witha kind of “honorary Kansan” status.Great idea.

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

The so-called legacy tuition plan would help bring top-quality students from other states who may be inclined to stay in Kansas after they graduate, KU Provost Richard Lariviere said.And this is the KU Provost? We definitely need to get some of our tax dollars back.As oakfarm said in his comment, what basis is there, other than immeasurable hubris, for assuming the children and grandchildren of KU grads will be "top-quality students?" (Q: What do you call a med student who graduates last in their class at KUMC? A: "Doctor.")There are two good reasons I can think of for having lower tuition rates for in-state students. The first, of course, is that students who have been residents of Kansas have already been paying into KU (or at least their families have) in the form of taxes. If that was the only difference, it would make sense to charge out-of-state students the actual cost of their education, and in-state students the actual cost less the per-student breakdown of general fund contributions. As a couple of people have already pointed out, the actual difference is even wider, and that's okay, because that's not the only reason for giving residents cheaper tuition. The state has a vested interest in educating their residents, who will (assuming they stick around) live here, work here, and pay taxes here after graduating. Unfortunately, as oakfarm also pointed out, if their parents have already skipped town after graduating, why would anyone assume the kids won't follow in their footsteps?Maybe tuition should be structured to encourage graduates to stick around in the first place, so their kids will already be residents. Maybe something should be done to stem the flow of people showing up to establish their one-year residency, but hold tightly to that return ticket for the first ride out of state after graduation. How about this? Someone who has lived here for 5 years and graduated from a Kansas HS automatically gets in-state rates. Any less than that and they can still get in-state tuition, but only if they commit to sticking around. After graduating, they get a bill for the difference between what they paid and what it actually cost, payable in 5 annual installments. Every year that they remain Kansas residents, that year's installment gets waived. If they stick around it doesn't cost them anything more than it does now. If they take their diploma and run, they can pay the taxpayers back for their education.

Peetro1981 9 years, 4 months ago

Max1:1. you have too much time on your hands2. Your KSU inferiority complex is reaping its ugly head.

Jack Martin 9 years, 4 months ago

max1 - Because many students at the Edwards Campus also attend classes in Lawrence, the enrollment there is considered part of the overall KU-Lawrence enrollment in our reports:, the story you cite on the percentage of the cost of an education that's covered by in-state tuition is more than four years old and therefore no longer applicable given changes in tuition and state funding during that time.

cassiemt 9 years, 4 months ago

My heart has lept for joy in reading this article! My husband and I are both KU grads who live out of state due to job relocations, and currently have 2 kids at KU -- with 3 to follow who would also like to be a Jayhawks. We are not rich and both work full-time to provide this opportunity for our children to attend our beloved KU and to give them a head start in life. But with the economy and escalating tuition costs, we do not know how much longer we will be able to do this. The out-of-state tuition costs are drowning us. Who would have ever thought an education at a state university would be over $100,000? We do not view this new proposed tuition plan as welfare for the rich, but an attempt to attract and retain quality students with a long Kansas tradition.

txjayhawker 9 years, 4 months ago

Why must we assume this is an advantage for the rich? Why do we assume that people not living in KS anymore are rich and privileged? Perhaps it is better to assume, that due to the decline in the economy, more and more people are forced to relocate out of state because quite simply, that is where a job has taken them? I am a KU grad and like one of the posters above, my kids have grown up (in Texas) living/loving the KU traditions. We visit often and still go back for a football game every year. My husband, (who is also a KU grad), and I have told our kids that KU, because of the cost-prohibitive tuition rates, is not an option for them. This plan would allow them to attend the school they have grown up loving and dreamed of one day attending.

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