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Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

House committee advances legacy tuition plan for KU

February 10, 2009

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— A House committee Tuesday approved legislation that could allow Kansas University to offer tuition breaks to out-of-state students.

The Higher Education panel approved the measure over the objections of state Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita.

McLeland said no one knew how much the proposal would cost the state and the legislation was written so broadly it would allow universities to issue tuition waivers for any group of students.

“Nobody has a clue what the cost is going to be over the years,” he said.

But state Rep. Tom Moxley, R-Council Grove, said the universities wouldn’t be asking for the proposal unless they thought they could make money from it.

He also noted that each proposal for a tuition waiver program had to be approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. “Do we trust the regents to make that decision?” he said.

House Bill 2007 would allow the regents to authorize any higher education institution to award grants to students in the form of fellowships, scholarships, and waivers of fees and tuition.

KU has proposed a program called the Jayhawk Generations Tuition Plan. Under the plan, KU would reduce tuition to out-of-state students who meet KU admissions requirements and have at least one parent, grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from KU.

KU officials say the plan will help KU compete against schools in neighboring states that have similar policies and attract top-quality students from out of state.

The measure will next go to the full House for consideration.

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