Archive for Wednesday, May 18, 2016

KU proposes 4 percent tuition increase for 2016-17 school year

Students walk between classes at the University of Kansas on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, in Lawrence, Kan.

Students walk between classes at the University of Kansas on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, in Lawrence, Kan.

May 18, 2016, 3:19 p.m. Updated May 18, 2016, 6:38 p.m.


TOPEKA — Kansas University has proposed a 4 percent tuition increase for next year, although higher-than-expected state budget cuts — announced minutes after the chancellor presented to the Kansas Board of Regents — could lead to a bigger hike.

The Regents received and discussed 2016-17 tuition proposals from KU and the other five state universities Wednesday afternoon. The Regents were scheduled to take action on the tuition proposals at their June meeting, although it appears proposals may change before then.

As the Regents met, across the street Gov. Sam Brownback signed the state budget and ordered additional allotment cuts to higher education, including cuts to KU that were millions more than expected.

Proposed 2016-17 semesterly tuition for in-state undergraduates

• KU (standard rate) — $4,743 (4 percent increase over 2015-16)

• KU (compact rate) — $5,193 (5 percent increase)

• KU Medical Center — $4,791 (5 percent increase)

• KSU — $4,471 (5 percent increase)

• WSU — $3,192 (5 percent increase)

• ESU — $2,422 (3.9 percent increase)

• PSU — $2,685 (5 percent increase)

• FHSU — $1,876 (5 percent increase)

Proposed 2016-17 semesterly tuition for out-of-state undergraduates

• KU (standard rate) — $12,362 (4 percent increase over 2015-16)

• KU (compact rate) — $13,506 (5 percent increase)

• KU Medical Center — $12,481 (5 percent increase)

• KSU — $11,862 (5 percent increase)

• WSU — $7,562 (5 percent increase)

• ESU — $8,966 (4 percent increase)

• PSU — $8,048 (3.3 percent increase)

• FHSU — $6,602 (5 percent increase)

Source: Kansas Board of Regents

Regents chairman Shane Bangerter broke the news immediately following the final university president's tuition presentation.

“It appears obvious that we’ll be taking a hard look at this issue as we receive additional reductions in excess of what we expected,” Bangerter said. “Wish I had better news, but we will all deal with it and come out as strong as we can.”

Elaine Frisbie, Regents vice president for finance and administration, said the system had girded for 3 percent budget cuts when preparing tuition proposals. With cuts averaging 4 percent instead, she said it would be up to individual schools to determine whether they’ll need to amend their tuition proposals.

Any amendments to tuition proposals will come back to the board in June, Frisbie said.

For now it’s unclear whether the budget news will send KU back to the drawing board on its tuition proposals.

“Given the magnitude of the $10.7 million reduction to KU, we will need a few days to carefully analyze its effects, which will be significant,” KU vice chancellor of public affairs Tim Caboni said in a statement.

All state universities’ proposed tuition increases already are larger than they were last year, when the Legislature imposed a 3.6 percent cap on tuition increases.

For 2016-17, KU’s proposed 4 percent increase was nearly the lowest, percentage-wise. All other state universities proposed in-state undergraduate tuition increases of 5 percent, except Emporia State University, which proposed an increase of 3.9 percent.

Under KU’s current tuition proposal, an in-state undergraduate would pay $4,743 per semester — $5,228 including required fees — to attend KU during the 2016-17 academic year. That’s an increase of $182 — or $200 including required fees — over 2015-16.

Incoming KU freshmen, for the second year, may opt to pay a compact tuition rate instead. It’s significantly higher, but it’s locked in for four years.

KU’s proposed compact rate for in-state undergraduates is $5,193 per semester, or $5,678 including required fees. That’s a tuition increase of $247, or 5 percent, over the 2015-16 compact rate.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said that last year, the first year freshmen had the option of signing up for the compact rate, 18 percent did.

“At least when you start out, the compact looks more expensive because you have to set it at a rate that remains the same,” she said.

KU’s proposed standard tuition of $4,743 for in-state undergrads remains the most expensive in the state.

The next-highest is Kansas State University, which is proposing tuition of $4,471 per semester. The cheapest is still Fort Hays State University, which is proposing tuition of $1,876 per semester.

KU’s tuition proposals also include 4 percent to 5 percent increases for out-of-state, graduate and KU Medical Center students. KU’s undergraduate tuition rates are based on a 15-hour course load.

Gray-Little and other university leaders said their tuition proposals represented a balance between quality and access. Among other financial needs, several leaders cited a need to provide faculty and staff raises, to help attract and retain the best employees.

“We’re looking at quality,” Gray-Little said. “We also realize that tuition is about money and what students have to pay.”

Contact KU and higher ed reporter Sara Shepherd
Have a tip or story idea?
More stories


Jonathan Fox 2 years, 1 month ago

Inflation hasn't been even close to 4% since before 2007. What extra costs above tuition does KU and all the other schools in Kansas expect to incur to justify continuously outrageous tuition.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 1 month ago

Pay attention. They just got state funding cut. One of the reasons the costs are soaring is that some states are cutting funding more and more. You also have a bunch of upper middle class kids, and really many kids, who have never had to share a bedroom with anyone before, so they put a lot of money into building or remodeling dorms. And then there is the technology. But KU funding by the state is being cut drastically, so the so called "job creators" can have more money for vacations. At least that seems what they are spending it on. They sure aren't creating many jobs.

Jason Vance 2 years, 1 month ago

There is no incentive to for government institutions to control costs, especially when consumers are willing to borrow to cover their shortfall. It is absolutely maddening, but until families refuse to pay these exorbitant costs, it will not change!

Kevin Kelly 2 years, 1 month ago

So, how much money is being spent on a parking garage and other crap (The "CD") that isn't necessary? I don't think a new 2,000 person dorm along 19th St (closer to the street and taller than allowed, with parking, all below code) is going to make anyone any smarter. Is KU about educating people or making money? I can guarantee you the people that are now parking on the street for free and walking to the bus stop aren't going to pay KU to park in their proposed mega million dollar garage. It will just be more KU paid parking for students and basketball with a bus stop the city threw some money at to appease the BULLY. HUB? Don't think so. Maybe the new 2,000 person 19th St dorm (closer to the street and taller than allowed with parking all below code) will feature AFFORDABLE HOUSING options to replace the Stouffer apartments KU destroyed? Maybe those apartments weren't making money?

Steve Jacob 2 years, 1 month ago

Was the 4% proposed before or after the additional cuts? If KU's enrollment drops at all in the fall they are in even more trouble.

Paul Beyer 2 years, 1 month ago

Had to increase tuition to offset brownies budget cuts to continue Koch tax breaks.

Bob Summers 2 years, 1 month ago

Tuition inflation has been 350 to 450 percent since the 80's.

KU is just doing what is expected of them. Profs need to eat too you know. The rise will hardly increase students trillion dollar loan debt enough to notice.

Jason Vance 2 years, 1 month ago

The problem is that families today cannot afford to send their children to state universities without borrowing. That is a huge change from when I graduated from KU in 1982 with a fine education and no debt. This situation is intolerable. College debt causes life changes that are not good, such delays in marriage, home purchases, and timing of children. A 4% tuition increase only worsens the problem.

Tony Peterson 2 years, 1 month ago

I graduated from KU in 1985 and tuition increases have far outpaced general inflation. If you convert the per semester cost I paid in 1985 to 2016 dollars it would be $1,523.

Jason Vance 2 years, 1 month ago

I never imagined that I'd see the day when middle class families could not afford to send their children to KU without borrowing. Frankly, I cannot believe that Kansans tolerate state universities that are so expensive, they cannot afford them. Parental and student apathy on this issue is both amazing and inexcusable because this generation's education debt is a ball and chain that previous generations (including me) did not have to carry. This is one of the most unfair and unnecessary situations I've seen in my entire life, exceeded only by the lack of courage to change it.

Cille King 2 years, 1 month ago

When I went to KU, Kansas taxpayers paid about 50% of the cost of college. Now Kansas pays about 15% of the cost of college. The tax money is staying with the top 5% of income earners in Kansas, instead of helping to pay for state programs.

Jason Vance 2 years, 1 month ago

So, the question is, "What has been the rate of increase in costs of state universities over the last 30 years?" The 15% rate that you mention is true for most, maybe all states, not just Kansas. Kansas is not an outlier. The problem, I suspect is that there is no incentive to control costs in government run institutions. Families have responded to increasings costs by borrowing what they cannot pay in cash. As long as students are willing to do this, there is no incentive for universities to control their costs.

Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

It has nothing to do with controlling costs. The actual cost of a public college education has not increased tremendously over the decades. Instead, the burden of public education has shifted from the State to those who attend State colleges and universities resulting in much higher tuition costs, and making it very difficult for middle and working class students to attend college.

Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

There are not enough wealthy people in Kansas to have voted the Republican party into a majority. So where do those middle class folks come from who vote from the party which makes it not affordable to send to college to college.

Hey you idiots, raise your hands if you are middle class and voted for republicans.

And then please bend over. You all deserve a good kick or two in the rear end.

David Holroyd 2 years, 1 month ago

KU does not garner favor spending how many millions on the 19th st housing and shopping center. ?

Mr Kelly is correct!

Bob Forer 2 years, 1 month ago

When I first attended KU in 1976 tuition was a little over 250 bucks a semester. In today's dollars that is approximately $1,100 per semester, or around 2,200 per year. With the planned increase, tuition will run over 11,000 per year, around a five hundred percent increase in real dollars.

What is disconcerting is that aggregate societal productivity has increased tremendously since 1976, meaning we should have plenty of resources to provide a college education to all at substantially the same costs as forty years ago. Instead, costs have increased by 500 percent.

What has happened here is exactly what Bernie Sanders has been stating. Most of the increase in wealth during the last several decades have gone to the top one percent, leaving the middle class hurting badly. These are the consequences of the middle class voting against their own interests.

David Klamet 2 years, 1 month ago

What concerns me the most is that no one seems to recognize that this trend is not sustainable. The discussion centers around finding ways to help people afford the ever increasing tuition. No one asks why costs are going up? The money isn't going to raises for TAs and adjuncts who are teaching an increasing portion of classes, nor to hire more instructors to decrease class size.

With tuition increases outpacing inflation and no reason to expect that to change....something will change, and when it does, it will change suddenly and drastically.

The bubble is inflating. Eventually, it will pop.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 1 month ago

The other sub prime lending scandal ...

Perhaps the governor is trying to assist his friends in the finance industry ..... those who finance college loans.

--- The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia


--- How many rip offs are taking place?

--- Ripping Off Young America

Commenting has been disabled for this item.