Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2011

Statehouse Live: Regents approve Kansas University tuition increase

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little comments on the tuition increase approved Thursday by the Kansas Board of Regents.

June 16, 2011, 9:33 a.m. Updated June 16, 2011, 12:20 p.m.


— The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday approved $26 million in tuition and fee increases for public universities, including Kansas University, and several board members blamed the Legislature for decreasing its tax dollar commitment to higher education.

“I wish we didn’t have to do this,” said Christine Downey-Schmidt of Inman. “This is the option we have left until our partners come back and help us with this process.”

“Everything is going up except state funding. The question is who is going to pay for it,” said Dan Lykins of Topeka.

For now, the answer is students will have to pay more.

Starting this fall at KU, tuition and required fees will increase from $4,012 to $4,234, a $222 or 5.5 percent increase for an undergraduate taking 15 hours.

The tuition for a non-Kansas resident will increase from $9,504 to $10,179, a $675 increase or 7.1 percent. Graduate students will face a 5.5 percent increase for residents and 5.9 percent for non-residents.

Tuition and fees under the KU Compact — for first-time, degree-seeking freshmen — will increase from $4,366 to $4,611, or $245, which is a 5.6-percent increase. That cost will be fixed for four years. Nonresident students will see an increase from $10,769 to $11,304, or 5 percent.

Since the KU Compact has been in effect for several years, 65 percent of returning under-graduates will see no tuition increase, according to KU.

Students at KU Medical Center will see a 4.9 percent increase.

All the regents schools were granted increases. For a resident undergraduate, the tuition and fee increase at Kansas State will be 3.8 percent; Wichita State, 5.1 percent; Emporia State, 6.8 percent; Pittsburg State, 6.5 percent; and Fort Hays State, 3.6 percent.

Regents members said the tuition increases were needed to cover increased costs in utilities and employee health insurance, pay for increased mandates from the Legislature, and make up for continued budget cuts.

The budget signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback allocates an estimated $744 million to higher education for the fiscal year that starts July 1. That is down from the $753 million for the current fiscal year. During the two years prior to that, higher education was cut by approximately $100 million as the state reeled from the recession.

Regent Jarold Boettcher of Manhattan said the tuition increases are tied to the decreasing state commitment to higher education. “It’s not an accident. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a fact,” he said.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the increases at KU were needed to make up for increasing costs, such as in health insurance and utilities, and also will be used to give raises to top faculty, increase the availability of high-demand classes, and for student retention support services.

She said private universities and public universities in faster growing states are trying to lure away faculty.

Additionally, about $400,000 of the increase will be added to the $10.3 million in need-based grants.

“We are going to continue to do everything we can to make sure students who want to come to KU, who can do college work, have an opportunity to do that,” she said.


consumer1 6 years, 11 months ago

Big deal when have the ever not approved a tuition increase?

" demand from students to continue to improve the university."

Like what? What improvements???? Name some improvements the students are demanding.

Jack Martin 6 years, 11 months ago

Here are several of the items mentioned by students on the tuition advisory committee:

  • Increase availability of high-demand classes, since one of the effects of past budget cuts has been a reduction in the number of available class offerings.

  • Retention of talented faculty members, especially since attempts to recruit them away have increased over the past year. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences alone saw more attempts to recruit away faculty this year than in the two previous years combined.

  • Enhancement of student academic support programs, particularly for first-year students.

  • Additional support for recruiting graduate students so that KU is more competitive with its peers.

  • More financial aid, which the proposal approved today does by increasing need-based financial aid by $400,000, to a total of $10.3 million.

Vinny1 6 years, 11 months ago

Are you seriously dumb enough to ask this?

  • Wireless internet everywhere
  • More and better food options on campus
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Better teachers
  • More class and more class time offerings

Just to name a few things students are wanting.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 11 months ago

Interesting...the reason we started public universities was to guarantee all high school graduates in Kansas a college far we have come from that....not may kids in Kansas will be able to afford a college education at Kansas University any more. What a shame for our kids. now the University exists to promote itself.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Blame the state legislature. State funding was supposed to defray the costs of an education so that all Kansans regardless of income could attend college.

The failure of the state to adequately fund the universities is the real reason.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Do you have data to back up your assertion.

It is demonstrably true that state support per student has decreased, at the same time as costs have increased.

I'd like to see your data to back up your claim.

Vinny1 6 years, 11 months ago

Now I'm against all these budget cuts and tuition increases 100%.

But "not many kids in Kansas will be able to afford a college education at KU"

Are you serious? "Not many" won't be able to afford 5k a year? For an education that will end up making them lots more over their careers. Think before you post next time.

booyalab 6 years, 11 months ago

Once again college tuition increases much faster than general inflation.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Gosh, you're right.

You know whose tuition hasn't outpaced inflation?

Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and most other prestigious private universities.

They have all been around $30,000-$40,000 a year for some time now.

ashford 6 years, 11 months ago

At least , you are more or less guaranteed job after graduation because of alumni networks and influences. But the same can't be said about KU.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Could this be because KU isn't as good as these universities because it is underfunded comparatively?

There is no free lunch.

voevoda 6 years, 11 months ago

Graduates of the ivies often find it just as difficult to find jobs after graduation. Their alumni networks are smaller, and graduates of the ivies have a reputation for elitism and an undeserved sense of entitlement.

llama726 6 years, 11 months ago

Once again, people don't understand the state not providing adequate funding and forcing these institutions to make other decisions.

thepianoman 6 years, 11 months ago

Good god. I just Can't fathom the cost of college these days. I graduated Washburn in 2005, so I started in 2000.

How in the %$# do people afford this???? I just don't get it. 4200 pers semester???? It's just jaw-dropping.....

llama726 6 years, 11 months ago

Assuming you make $8000 more per year as a result of your investment, you'd make up your college costs in five years. Assuming you work another 20 years after that...

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, in the past, people could afford it because the state subsidized a alrge proportion of the cost of education.

The state has shirked its responsibility in this regard, so people are forced to pay more.

ashford 6 years, 11 months ago

Would Kansas University guarantee quality education for students which students are paying for, and would they guarantee jobs after graduation for paying all the high tuition fees. I suggest that students should study online at Ashworth College and pay 50% less and still get quality education at their own pace without the pompt and pagentry of KU hype and astronomical cost for college without anything to show for it.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

An education is an advantage, not a guarantee.

If KU had admissions standards that were higher I think they could make that claim more feasible.

Can every student coming to KU guarantee to have done well in high school, study every night, attend all clases, and take their education seriously?

Those who cannot would be welcome at Ashworth College, I am sure.

ashford 6 years, 11 months ago

Education is not an advantage but it could be based on the circumstance. To say that it is an advantage is false. If one has to pay higher price for one thing when the person can get the same thing of equal quality or even more somewhere else, there has to be value added condition that warrants the cost; in some cases, it can be guarantee.

akhmatova 6 years, 11 months ago

People who advocate for and run for-profit schools like Ashford are subhumans. Ashford is nothing but a diploma-mill that offers absolutely no education of merit, while contributing to the growing education bubble largely manufactured through scam "educational institutions" that are predatory upon low-income students looking to improve their lives.

"As for-profit colleges have come under increasing scrutiny, a recent Senate report revealed that Ashford has one of the highest withdrawal rates of any publicly traded school in the industry. Ashford has also been faulted for its recruiting and finance practices in a recent Department of Education audit."

The stock of Ashford's parent company, Bridgepoint Education, fell the most in almost five months when the misuse of federal student aid was first publicly disclosed in 2009. When the official results were released in 2011, Senator Tom Harkin said this audit 'reveals the same troubling pattern of for-profit colleges' taking advantage of students and taxpayers.'"

Senator Harkin took issue with the fact that despite such growth of the company, student success was lacking. According to information provided by Senator Harkin in the committee hearing, 63% of students who enrolled at Ashford University during the 2008-2009 school year withdrew before completion of their perspective program. Senator Harkin pointed out that Bridgepoint recorded more than $216 million in profits in 2010; of which 86.5 percent of its revenues come from federal funds. In reference to the dependence of Bridgepoint on public funds, Senator Harkin was quoted as saying, "I think this is a scam, an absolute scam."

akhmatova 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I looked up Ashford instead of Ashworth.

Oh well.

ashford 6 years, 11 months ago

My name is Ashford, I didn't mention Ashford University, I actually don't know anything about Ashford University. I mean Ashworth College. My cousin went to KU for two years and was having financial problems, and could not afford the tuition. He enrolled at Ashworth College online and graduate from there. He spent lot less on tuition and now, he is in his final year of Law school at the University of Pennsylvania. I went to KU and I spent all that money there. My degree was evaluated like every one else nothing special when looking for job, so why pay more, only if you are to live in lawrence for ever, no offense.

The person talking about diploma mill doesn't know what she was talking about, it is propaganda of name calling. The school is fully regionally accredited. It is one of those hypes of bringing others down as to feel on top. I am KU aluminum and I love KU, I just don’t like too much fee increase which makes it unaffordable, when one can get it for less somewhere else. Money is very tight now.

ashford 6 years, 11 months ago

The question mark (?), not a big deal.

Would Kansas University guarantee quality education for students which students are paying for, and would they guarantee jobs after graduation for paying all the high tuition fees?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Methinks Ashford might be acting as a representative of Ashworth College on this site, furthering its commercial interests. This is a no-no.

scarletbhound 6 years, 11 months ago

I am tired of KU officials claiming that other universities are trying to lure away faculty. I want specifics. I want names of the targeted professors. While I have no doubt that a few high flyers -- those with huge research contracts -- are attractive to other schools, I sincerely question that it's a widepsread problem in most departments. I keep up to date with higher education and I know of no state that is not experiencing severe financial stress -- just look at California, New York, Illinois etc., all of whom are making deep cuts in colleges. The fact is that KU and other schools are going to have to do more, do it better and do it with less money. If the current chancellor refuses to accept that obviously difficult challenge, she should consider a different career, because such is the reality in higher education for at least the next decade.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

I am sorry that you are tired of it, but it is true.

You should contact Jack Martin at KU, who posted earlier in the thread, for details about professors who have been recruited away from KU.

Yes, many states are in financial distress, which makes hiring proven professors all the more attractive. Instead of hiring a new professor just starting out, it is a better bet to hire a professor who has already proven their quality and achievements. These are the professors targeted at KU.

The tuition at KU is still near the bottom of state universities, and is nowhere near that of private universities, which can be $30,000-$40,000 a year, ten times as much as KU.

So yes, there are still state and private universities out there with funds to invest in hiring tried and true, successful professors.

These are the ones that will abandon KU, leaving behind those professors who struggle and are not successful.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

I really can't either, except for the price.

CU for an out of state student is something like $15,000 a year. In state is more than KU as well.

kuguardgrl13 6 years, 11 months ago

CU is probably one of the most expensive state universities in the country. Out-of-state KU is much more reasonable, hence why so many Colorado students choose to come to Kansas instead.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

You know there is anothere way to reduce tuition- cut services.

The University argues that the demand is there. If it is in fact the students making these demands then the students should pay - not the retired farmwife.

Frankly, the state should consider focusing the state contribution on credentials that benefit the state - those paying for them. In fact, is that not what our governor has done with the initiative on engineering??

llama726 6 years, 11 months ago

I hope the retired farmwife doesn't benefit from other government services which are funded by college graduates who make more money, that she never receives services from anyone who has been trained at the university, etc.

We don't get to isolate our individual tax dollars. Or else, I wouldn't fund defense contractors federally and renovations to the state House locally. I'd fund education.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, there just might be a disagreement as to how much the farmwife or anybody other than the student benefits from a lot of what is offered at our state universities.

Kansas elected Mr. Brownback and a conservative legislature. Tax increases were off the table. To pay more for our Regents system we would have to raise taxes. Sounds like majority rule to me!!

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

I have argued for a long time that KU should become a private university.

KU receives about ~25% of its expenditures from the state, the other coming from tuition (~25%), research grants (~25%),and other sources (~25%).

A doubling of tuition would make up the difference right away, and would still make KU a competitive price relative to other state universities and a bargain compared to other private universities.

Then, the state could start paying KU for the "services" it now receives, such as law enforcement training.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

Not unusual - My alma mater is in the same boat.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

More and more middle and low income students will be locked out of upward mobility, but will still be paying taxes for those upper income kids to go to college and get a job they probably would have gotten anyway, because Daddy or Mommy has the right connections.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

Simplistic propaganda.

We are educating a greater percentage of our raising cohorts than during most of our history. There are more resources specifically directed at underprivileged students than at just about anytime in our history

The rich have always been with us. If you buy a new wing at the university (public or private), you get privilege. Not good but no different now from in the past. In fact might be more challenging now when things other than ability to pay are measured in the selection process (diversity maybe??)

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