Kansas University would become pricier and more particular under proposals before the Kansas Board of Regents.
During its monthly meeting starting Wednesday, the board will take up tuition increase requests from the six regents universities and a plan by KU to put in place tougher admission standards.
Most KU students pay tuition under a compact that guarantees their rate for four years. Under that compact, incoming KU freshmen who are Kansas residents would pay an additional 4.9 percent in tuition and fees, bringing the cost of a 15 credit hour semester to $4,839. Tuition and fees for nonresident freshmen would increase by 5 percent, to $11,874.
Transfer students and students who stay longer than four years pay a different standard tuition rate. That rate, combined with fees, is also proposed to increase by 4.9 percent for residents to $4,444, and 6.7 percent for nonresidents to $10,865.
Kansas State is requesting a 5.1 percent increase in tuition and fees; Emporia State, 6.5 percent; Pittsburg State, 6.4 percent; Fort Hays State, 3.7 percent; and Wichita State, 3.5 percent.
KU also will be asking the regents for the green light on increasing the school’s admission standards.
If new regulations supporting the request are approved by December, then KU will start using the new standards in August 2016.
KU officials have said the goal is to raise the profile of the university by getting better students who have a greater chance of being successful at KU and then staying in Kansas to pursue their careers.
Currently, admission criteria are the same for all six regents universities. A Kansas high school graduate can be admitted if he or she:
• Has an ACT score of at least 21 or SAT score of at least 980 or
• Ranks in the top one-third of the high school class or
• Has a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the Kansas Qualified Precollege Admissions curriculum.
Under the proposed standards, to be automatically admitted to KU, graduating high school students would have to complete the pre-college curriculum with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, along with one of the following:
• A minimum 3.0 GPA and an ACT score of at least 24 or SAT score of 1090 or
• A minimum 3.25 GPA and an ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 980.
Students who don’t meet the criteria will have their applications reviewed by a committee that will look at numerous considerations, including whether the applying student would be a first generation college student, or is the child or grandchild of KU graduates, and has the potential to succeed academically.
Approximately 65 percent of the most recent class at KU would have cleared the proposed standards and been admitted, according to Jack Martin, a spokesman for KU.
He said the remaining 35 percent would have had their applications reviewed by the admissions committee and a majority of those would have been admitted. Martin added, “ … and the plan is to use that application review process to link up students with first-year experiences and academic services that will help them be successful.”
KU also wants to set the deadline at Feb. 1 for applications for automatic admission. Research shows that students who apply by Feb. 1 have a better chance of succeeding, and this will also allow the admissions committee to examine later applications more thoroughly, the school said.
Other items before the regents this week include:
• KU wants to increase from $65 million to $80.6 million the cost of a new classroom building for the engineering school. The additional cost will provide an additional 29,000 square feet, which is needed to meet projected student growth, the school said. KU intends to issue bonds for the increase.
• An Oral Health Task Force will deliver its report on ways to increase the number of dentists in Kansas.
For the short term, the task force recommends purchasing seats from dental schools in surrounding states and require that students who fill those seats return to Kansas and work with under-served populations.
Over the long term, the task force says Kansas needs to establish a Kansas dental school.
• Consider specific funding requests from all public higher education institutions, including $30 million in state funds to help build a new $75 million medical education building. KU also is seeking a recurring annual appropriation of $2.5 million to support a Kansas Institute for Translational Chemical Biology to help in drug discovery efforts.