Tuition at KU more than triples in decade
Tuition at Kansas University for two semesters for an undergraduate Kansas resident taking 15 hours per semester:
2007-08* $6,390 (compact),
2008-09 $6,878 (compact),
2009-10 $7,359 (compact),
- Beginning in Fall 2007, entering first-time freshmen must enroll under the four-year tuition compact. The compact will fix tuition rates for four years and set course fees and required campus fees in a four-year schedule. All other enrolled students pay the standard tuition rate.
Topeka The Kansas Board of Regents fears that there will be a big funding cut to higher education this week when Gov. Mark Parkinson releases his budget-balancing plan and that there will be even more reductions during the 2010 legislative session that starts in January.
And Regents Vice Chairman Gary Sherrer said that may mean a big tuition increase next year.
“I shudder to think what our tuition discussion is going to be like in the spring, based on what I think is going to happen to us in the Legislature,” Sherrer said.
State funding to the Kansas higher education system has already been cut $100 million, or 12 percent, because of the drop in state revenues.
But because of a continued decline in tax revenue, the state is facing a $260 million deficit. Parkinson has said he will announce more budget cuts this week.
With education funding making up two-thirds of the budget — public schools 50 percent and higher education 17 percent — the state’s universities and colleges expect to sustain another cut.
But Parkinson said he supports higher education and hopes the Legislature will provide the needed revenue.
“At some point, the Legislature is going to have to decide to make a commitment to our universities, and I’m hoping that the Legislature makes that commitment in 2010 when they come back in January and we won’t have to raise tuition.
“But it’s up to the Legislature. The Legislature is going to have to support the universities in a way I think the public wants them to be supported,” Parkinson said.
Regent Chairwoman Jill Docking said higher education is looking at several more years of budget difficulties because of the state’s economy and the eventual evaporation of federal stimulus dollars that have been used to prop up the budget.
But Docking said she wasn’t sure how that would affect tuition. “I can’t tell you where we will be on tuition next spring,” she said.
Over the past decade, tuition at Kansas University has more than tripled, from $2,090 per year to $7,359 per year for incoming freshmen.
The state universities have become much more dependent on tuition as state taxpayer funding per student has declined.
In 1988, state funding made up 47 percent of the higher education budget, but now is just 27 percent, according to regents figures. In 1988, tuition made up 16 percent of higher education budgets; now that is 26 percent.
Sherrer says continued reliance on tuition increases is pricing some Kansans out of higher education. He says it’s time for the Legislature to consider a tax increase.
“I think the majority of Kansans are willing to pay a little more to preserve our investment in higher education,” he said.