Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2012

KU tuition and fees going up; admission standards getting more stringent

June 20, 2012, 4:14 p.m. Updated June 21, 2012, 1:36 p.m.


KU funding graphic

KU funding graphic

— Economically and academically, Kansas University is getting more expensive and selective.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved tuition and fee increases and gave KU permission to go ahead with the process of putting in place tougher admission standards.

The increased costs will take effect this fall. 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 will 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 non-resident freshmen will increase 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 non-residents, to $10,865.

Board members lamented the increases requested by the regents schools, but unanimously supported them, saying they were necessary to maintain quality.

The increases for resident students will be Kansas State, 5.1 percent; Emporia State, 6.5 percent; Pittsburg State, 6.4 percent, Fort Hays State, 3.7 percent, and Wichita State, 3.5 percent.

Regent Dan Lykins of Topeka said the cost of higher education and health care continues to skyrocket while salaries for many working Kansans have decreased.

“Wealthy families will be able to afford this,” Lykins said of the tuition and fee hikes. “Poor families, hopefully, will be able to get grants. For the average Kansas family, this is going to be tough. I am worried about the future because as we continue to raise tuition, some student is going to say I can’t afford to go to school anymore.”

Over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic shift of funding higher education from state appropriations to tuition, according to data provided by KU.

In 1991, nearly 69 percent of per student operating expenses at KU was funded through state tax dollars, while 31 percent was funded with tuition. Now, only 38 percent is funded by the state, while tuition has increased to 62 percent.

Regent Fred Logan Jr., of Prairie Village, said even though the increased costs are a burden on students and families, getting a degree “is the best investment that anyone can make.”

Hannah Bolton, KU student body president, said the increases will help maintain the quality of the schools.

“You want to invest in excellence,” Bolton said. But she added the increases are making it more difficult for many students.

Bolton said many students have two jobs during the week and sometimes a third job on the weekend, and the competition for scholarships is increasing.

The tuition and fee increases at KU will generate about $14 million in additional revenue.

Of that amount, $6 million will be used for salary increases to retain faculty and staff, $3.7 million will cover required costs, such as health insurance, and $1.1 million will be used to provide grants to students with financial needs, while the rest will cover numerous other operating expenses.

On the issue of admissions standards, the board voted 8-1 to approve KU’s request to set the bar higher. If new regulations supporting the request are approved by December, then KU will start using the new standards in August 2016.

“We have an aspiration to increase the graduation rate. We have an aspiration to increase the retention rate,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

But Gray-Little said the school wasn’t trying to discourage applicants. “I want every student who can come to KU and have a good experience, to be at KU,” she said.

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 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in the Kansas Qualified Precollege Admissions curriculum.

Under the new standards, to be automatically admitted to KU, students would have to apply by Feb. 1 and complete the pre-college curriculum, along with one of the following:

• A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and an ACT score of at least 24 or 1090 SAT, or

• A minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA and an ACT score of 21 or 980 SAT.

Students who don’t meet the automatic admissions 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.

KU Provost Jeff Vitter said the higher standards will allow KU to capture “the high achiever students who leave Kansas” under the current standards, he said.

Regent Janie Perkins of Garden City was the lone dissenter, saying she was concerned the higher criteria, especially the Feb. 1 deadline for consideration of automatic admission, would be a roadblock to some students.

Gray-Little said students applying to KU before Feb. 1 had a much higher incidence of advancing to their sophomore year than those who apply after Feb. 1 — 81 percent to 57 percent.

She said the ability of a student to apply earlier in his or her senior year of high school probably indicates that the student has more organizational skills and home supports.


Clara Westphal 1 year, 10 months ago

It might ease the pain a bit if classes were taught by professors instead of TAs.

It looks like KU will be 'snob hill' again.


voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

Readers should look more closely at the graph before slamming KU. If you add the state support and tuition costs together, you'll see that KU costs only 17% more now than it did twenty years ago. 17% inflation over 20 years indicates that KU is really holding the line on cost increases, both to taxpayers and to students. Also, compare the cost of KU professional services to any other profession. Students are paying about $21 for each 1-hour class meeting, and they get unlimited free "tech" support outside of class. Can you get any other sort of professional service for that cost?


irtnog2001 1 year, 10 months ago

If this is really about improving retention rates for undergraduates this won't help much. They need to reduce class size and provide instruction from professors not TA's. These large research univerities treat undergraduates as second class cannon fodder and that is not going to change. Unless you are a national merit scholar my advice is go to juco for two years and then finish up at one of the smaller state or private universities. KU is not the place to be unless you can get into a graduate program there.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

Most private universities charge $20,000-$40,000 per year in tuition. Baker in Baldwin charges $24,000.

This is a good market-based indication of the cost of a university education.

Even with state assistance, tuition at KU is far below this.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 10 months ago

This government 'institution' knows Flex will be 'forgiving' student loans for votes this year prior election so this 'play' by KU is a smart cagey move to flood their coffers with money without offending the minions.


squawkhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Well this will certain not help improve the decline in enrollment. I predict an even sharper decline as financially savvy parents of KC kids will send their kids to JCCC for their first two years before transferring to a four year school like KU. This combined with the tougher admission standards and a pathetic football team does not bode well for the future of KU. At the same time I'm reading how KSU's enrollment is increasing year-after-year.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

This is the inevitable result of tax cuts and therefore reduced state assistance to universities.

More of the financial responsibility has been shifted to the students and parents.

I hope you enjoyed your tax cuts, because this is the result.


toe 1 year, 10 months ago

Getting government out of education is the first step to improving education.


Phoghorn 1 year, 10 months ago

It is a waste of time to talk about revenue without talking about spending.


Les Blevins 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a sad development. Apparently KU will go ahead with the process of putting in place higher fees on students and tougher admission standards rather than cut its costs and meet higher standards itself, which it apparently isn't interested in doing. I've offered to assist KU in cutting operating costs and move away from fossil fuels, and enabling other institutions of higher learning to do likewise, but when I asked to meet with KU's mechanical engineering department to discuss my proposal they refused and instead had me meet with geology faculty who have fossil fuel interests. Of course my proposal went nowhere. I would be happy to meet with a representative of the KU paper or a representative of the KU Student Body to detail my experience with KU's Research Department heads. Google Les Blevins and Advanced Alternative Energy for more info.


ratfamily 1 year, 10 months ago

Unfortunately, I must agree. College is becoming a poor investment for many these days. A degree simply does not carry the weight it once did. The pool of graduates is much too large. The idea that everyone should go to college is ludicrous. Many should not go to college. Most people are morons, and undergraduate university is ridiculously easy to graduate from. Most degrees, especially in the liberal arts, have become almost worthless in the job market. Graduating with a degree used to mean more to employers. First and foremost, it meant that you could complete long-term goals and were willing to invest your time and money into yourself. However, college has turned into a money machine, and churning out graduates is big bucks. Where are the increased costs that require these enormous hikes in tuition though? Tuition has blasted by inflation. It’s not even close.
Additionally, this raising of academic standers is basically smoke and mirrors. The only change is this. High school grads must now carry a “B” average on graduation in order to be automatically accepted by KU. It used to be all grads with a “C” average were automatically accepted by KU, which is pretty freaking low, granted. Now, all those who apply who carry below a “B” high school average will be reviewed. They will still be able to get in, but their applications will just be “reviewed.” So what this means is KU is saying they are upping the standards, but it’s really just a bait and switch. Basically, KU is purporting to become more exclusive, thus reduce their student population, and therefore costs should go up per student. However, I would be very surprised if there is a significant jump in the average high school grade average accepted to KU, or a decrease in student population. They are still going to accept a ton of “C” students, who probably shouldn’t be going to college in the first place. I wish I never did. I could have read a few books instead and got the same result….the beer and girls were nice however, granted.


MrDuck 1 year, 10 months ago

Anything that raises admissions standards and bumps our USN&WR rankings makes me happy.


Topple 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, at least save your money and goto a junior college for your first two years. There are zero reasons to goto a University all four-five years unless you have a scholarship instead of going to junior college. You can get your first two years of school done at JCCC for the price of one semester at KU, and JCCC is a very good school.


Liberty_One 1 year, 10 months ago

Better yet, don't go to college at all. It's just a scam to make you a debt slave to the government. There are hundreds of thousands of cashiers, waitresses, burger-flippers and coffee makers with college degrees out there and a pile of debt to go with it.

Better idea: get a job, save some money, start a business.


Jayhawk1958 1 year, 10 months ago

Save your money and go to a junior college. JCCC has tons of programs that you can get jobs with.


fu7il3 1 year, 10 months ago

It became less about education and more about the University itself.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

Private universities charge $20,000 to $40,000 per year in tuition.

Baker University in Baldwin charges $24,000 per year.

This is a market-based indication of the cost of a university education.

I hope you enjoy your tax cuts, because they have resulted in less state support for university education and more responsibility placed on the student and family.

This is what you voted for when you voted for politicians who enacted tax cuts.

Enjoy the "ownership society" you have helped create.


William Weissbeck 1 year, 10 months ago

Is there someone who went to school in the late 70's (the Gong Owens era) who can recall what they paid for tuition? I did, and swear I paid $250 my first semester. Monthly room and board was $155, and bottled beer at the Hawk was 55 cents. We weren't any dumber back then and we had full professors for most classes. What happened?


rivercitymom 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess all these geniuses don't know that their target demographic is shrinking - so there are less students entering college because this generation is much smaller than their parents' generation. So, good job limiting the pool of students entering this fine institution even further. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!


KSManimal 1 year, 10 months ago

This is your tax cuts at work, folks.


Getaroom 1 year, 10 months ago

Well Lawrence, since it's looking like Universities and higher education in general are meant only for the 1% looks like it's time to put in place some Trade, or VOTEC schools, so people who can't afford college, or shouldn't be there anyway, can get some training. Congress has to stop sitting on there collective hands, stop grandstanding and create some jobs. It looks like we are in a situation where "the beatings will continue until moral improves" and that seems to be working out well doesn't it?
Solution: stop teaching Evolution and teach Intelligent Design. "Pray" That everything will get better and if GOD wants things to get better, poof, it was Gods will. That was simple. And if that fails to bring positive results, just make the rich even richer and richer and jobs will magically appear! OH, I forgot we are already doing that and that didn't work either.


alcoholbliss 1 year, 10 months ago

Wouldn't it be great if some of that money helped cover Lawrence's trash and water issues, new rec-center, new PD station, new liebrary , and camera installs downtown?

Now then, when is the announcement that Student Housing will also be increasing the cost to live in campus slum property? Those prices look a little low to me for all you can get city trash service and unlimited water usage and common space housekeeping , that is someone to hall the trash out for you, and pick up your trash in the parking lots.


Flap Doodle 1 year, 10 months ago

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 10 months ago

If my memory serves me correctly, I paid just over $100 per credit hour (was mayne $1600 per semester of 15 hrs) when I enrolled aa a freshman in 2001. Apparently the level of education offered has improved remarkably in 11 years.


Pitt_Mackeson 1 year, 10 months ago

Welp, guess I'm not going to college.


doolindalton 1 year, 10 months ago

This is ridiculous. Higher education is the only institution in our society, besides medical care, which believes it has a carte blanche to raise its charges whenever the mood strikes. It is paying for professors who don't teach classes but rather attract research grants. I did not get a 4.9 percent raise this year and most likely I am not alone. Where is this money supposed to come from Board of Regents and Chancellor Gray-Little?


JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

Tuition and fees going up, admission standards getting tougher. Lawrence better plan for a reducing student body. That includes a moratorium on apartment construction.


Orwell 1 year, 10 months ago

We need legislators who place a higher value on educating the public than on tax giveaways for the Koch brothers. This is a continuing – and growing – disgrace.


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