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.


Orwell 5 years, 11 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.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Indeed. We're impoverishing our future generations for a little short term gain by those who need it least. I really hope the political pendulum swings in the other direction soon.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Koch will pay absolutely zero on state taxes starting in 2013. They therefore have no place at the table to discuss KU or any other state actions.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Koch's currently decreasing supply of Kansas employees will pay taxes, yes, and most of them probably come with functioning mouths and lips, and can thus speak for themselves.

Since Gray-Little's salary is in line with national averages for the position and approved by the Board of Regents, I'd say the answer is yes, she should get that salary. Should the Kochs earn billions and billions in profits and not have to pay a dime in state taxes?

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Well there you go. The Kochs should get paid what they do because the board of directors approves it. In fact, they get more money for laying people off, just as they've recently done with over 150 Kansans in Wichita. Board approved. Free market at work. Capitalism can do no wrong.

Gray-Little should get paid her Board of Regents approved salary. Board approved. The Kochs don't sit on her board, nor should they influence it as non taxpayers. Elephant no longer in room. I'm glad I could straighten that out for you.

Phoghorn 5 years, 11 months ago

The false dichotomies are thick around here.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Indeed. We can simultaneously think the Kochs need to pay taxes AND be believers in capitalism.

Phoghorn 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know what is creepier, your obsession with my posts, or your obsession with the Koch Brothers...

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Oooh, go with the narcissistic answer and say it's all about you.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 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.

Brad Avery 5 years, 11 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?

dinglesmith 5 years, 11 months ago

The money is supposed to come from your tax cut. I'm not being funny. Kansas is going to a fee for service model instead of a socialist model. As long as we're talking about lowering taxes, everyone loves it. When we start talking about paying for things, everyone hates it. When SRS cuts services, we hike tuition, or cut road maintenance, the red counties scream just as loud as the blue counties.

April Fleming 5 years, 11 months ago

The costs are going up because the state continually gives less money to the University - that combined with rising costs of providing healthcare = higher tuition. It is really unpleasant for students, but KU is still very competitively priced when compared to other state schools. Just check out CU-Boulder tuition rates if you'd like some nice sticker shock.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Tell me about it. While I'm paying out of state for KU, my in state in Minnesota was not that much better, and I would have lost it because my parents moved after my freshman year. That's why KU has lots of students from Colorado, Illinois, and other states where the in state tuition is almost as high or sometimes higher than KU.

thinkinganalytically 5 years, 11 months ago

Really? How do you think capitalism works? Firms will increase prices when it is to their advantage to do so.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 11 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.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

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Getaroom 5 years, 11 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.

rivercitymom 5 years, 11 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!

dinglesmith 5 years, 11 months ago

If you studied university admissions you would learn that increasing admissions standards actually results in increased enrollments, not decreased. It seems counterintuitive, but if you do a bit of research you'll find it to be true.

Orwell 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd like to see the research that establishes causation rather than coincidence. This looks like "post hoc, ergo proper hoc."

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Limiting admission actually gives those students a better shot at success, and it makes the actual diploma more worth the having as the reputation of the university increases. I'm all for that. I'm not all for making it less affordable to state residents.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 11 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?

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I went to college in the late 60s. Because I had dropped out for a semester and worked and saved money, I recall that the next semester cost less than $500 for everything (state college, not KU). That was living in a room in a house and sharing a bathroom and kitchen with another student and the lady owning the house.

Earlier I went to a private college in California for around $2,000 for a whole year.

My parents felt that a college education was important even if I didn't have a working career. They felt that an education was not just about making a living but also about learning how to live. My father didn't get to attend college and it was the big regret of his life. He was self-educated and quite knowledgable, but still regretted not having that experience. He lived on a farm his whole life---I add that because many seem to think that rural people are dumb and uneducated and don't value education.

Uneducated masses make for better low wage employees. I don't think that the widening gap between the classes is an inadvertent byproduct of the current policies. I think it is the whole point.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 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.

fu7il3 5 years, 11 months ago

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

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 11 months ago

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

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

If you want that 4 year degree, start the first two years at JCCC, save your money, and then finish at KU.

HRCJJ 5 years, 11 months ago

This is what I did. For my first 2 years it was a little over 5k, for my first SEMESTER at KU it will be a little less than 5k. Makes me sad, but there isn't much you can do with a 2 year degree anymore.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

And good luck succeeding in those last two years. The differences between community colleges and universities is only growing. I'm not saying that KU is on a pedestal and JCCC is crap, but from what I've heard (and from personal experience), the expectations are very different. JCCC profs and admins continue to hold your hand like in high school whole KU throws you to the dogs in some classes. With the increased admissions standards for KU, I would not be surprised if fewer JCCC students transfer or JCCC steps up to prepare those students better for 4 year degrees.

Orwell 5 years, 11 months ago

Right. And if you go to college and acquire critical thinking skills, why, you might not buy the wingnuts' garbage any more!

Phoghorn 5 years, 11 months ago

Critical thinking skills are NOT required at most US campuses er. campusi. Just recite everything the instructor says and you get your A.

Phoghorn 5 years, 11 months ago

Damb right it did! Now that I have a job, I actually use critical thinking skills. It makes me realize the banality of college.

madameX 5 years, 11 months ago

Eh, there's also loads of employers who won't even consider hiring a person for a non-burger flipping job unless he or she has a degree. Don't get me wrong, I completely disagree with this hiring model. As a person who totally thought her general common sense ability to learn on the job and work ethic would be more than enough right out of high school, and only ended up going back to college (career oriented AA from JCCC) because it was expected by employers, this troubles me. But the reality is that "just get a job" with only a high school education isn't really a viable option.

Topple 5 years, 11 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.

MrDuck 5 years, 11 months ago

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

Phoghorn 5 years, 11 months ago

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

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's see... KU costs about $16,000 a year for in-state students and $22,000 for out of state. Most private schools (aren't regulated by the government and receive no state funding) cost $30,000+ a year. How is government in education bad if it keeps the costs down? If KU had to go private, tuition would skyrocket. Why do you think it's been going up the past few years? State funding has plummeted, but costs have stayed the same or gone up. The most lost from the state now has to come from the students. The less money comes from the state, the more students have to foot.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 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.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 months ago

Fair enough. Just to make sure we all know where we are coming from, where and when did you go to school?

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 months ago

And before that? You're "unreal" education was where and when?

squawkhawk 5 years, 11 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.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 11 months ago

Cilo Tech doesn't increase enrollment thorough their football program. And the football program will start to decline as Weis is now beating out Snyder for the best kids in the state. 3 or 4 years from now we will be dominating you again like Mangino did.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 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.

voevoda 5 years, 11 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?

Clara Westphal 5 years, 11 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.

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