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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

Regents approve KU's four-year tuition plan

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_The Kansas Board of Regents today approved Kansas University's plan to lock in tuition and fee rates for incoming students for the expected four-year duration of their undergraduate education.__The university sent out the following press release announcing approval:_Parents and students have been overwhelmingly positive in response to a new University of Kansas plan that offers no tuition increases for four years to freshmen and sets fees four years in advance for all students.KU's Four-Year Tuition Compact, approved today by the Kansas Board of Regents, enables first-time freshmen and their families to plan financially for the true cost of tuition and fees for the time it takes to complete a bachelor's degree program. Approximately 80 percent of college costs for Kansas residents and almost 90 percent for non-residents will be known and certain from the first day of class, said Marlesa Roney, vice provost for Student Success."Every time we discussed the proposal during new student orientation this month, the audience has burst into applause," Roney said. "No tuition increase for four years is very welcome news to parents and students alike. They can now plan ahead with confidence." The tuition compact fixes the per-credit-hour tuition rate for first-time freshmen for four calendar years, the time it takes for a student taking 16 credit hours a semester to graduate with a bachelor's degree. All but four KU bachelor degree programs can be completed in that time.The compact, developed in collaboration with KU student leaders, also sets course fees for the next four years. Course fees are levied on a per-credit-hour basis in all of KU's schools except social welfare and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Almost 65 percent of KU students are enrolled only in the College, and most won't pay any course fees while earning a degree. Students who enroll in schools with course fees typically do so in their junior and senior years.The university is also working to establish a four-year schedule of required campus fees, an annual charge students pay to support services such as the student health center, fitness and recreation center and the bus system. Required campus fees, which will be $377.75 for the fall 2007 semester, are set by Student Senate and voted on by the student body. The compact also includes an optional two-year fixed rate for student housing.Returning and transfer students will pay the standard tuition rate, which is set every June by the regents. These students will pay the same set course fees as first-time freshmen. For more information about the Four-Year Tuition Compact and all tuition rates and fees, visit www.tuition.ku.edu.A regents survey reported this week that tuition rates in Kansas are considerably lower than the rates in neighboring states. Kansans who attend KU pay $831, or 15 percent, less than residents in neighboring states to attend similar institutions each year.

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