At its April meeting at Murray State University, the Council on Postsecondary Education set tuition and mandatory fee ceilings that limit the amount public campuses can charge resident, undergraduate students over the next two academic years.
For the comprehensive and research universities, the Council set ceilings that average 4 percent a year, with a maximum allowable increase in either year of 5 percent. A campus choosing a 5 percent increase in either year would be limited to a 3 percent increase in the other.
Students at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System could see as much as a three dollar per credit hour increase each year, or an average of 2 percent a year, not to exceed more than $147 per credit hour in academic year 2014-15 and no more than $150 per credit hour in academic year 2015-16.
Council Chair Pam Miller said, “Since I’ve been on the Council, the universities have been cut by the state every year. And every year, we have asked them to do more…It’s admirable that our campuses continue to maintain exceptional quality and service to students.”
Between fiscal years 2007-08 and 2013-14, Kentucky’s public colleges and universities were cut $168 million, or 15.5 percent of their combined net General Fund appropriations. Adjusting for inflation, the cuts total $284 million or 24 percent. Meanwhile, enrollment grew 8.5 percent during the same period.
Even if all institutions implemented the maximum tuition increases in 2014-15, it would still leave an estimated annual budget shortfall of $25.4 million caused by state budget cuts and increases in fixed costs.
“The two-year approach accomplishes three key objectives,” said Council President Bob King. “It helps students and families plan ahead for college, moderates tuition increases over two years, and balances the need for our institutions to partially offset state budget cuts and increased fixed costs.”
Final action on tuition will be taken when the Council votes on each campus’s proposal at its June 20 meeting.
For nonresident, undergraduate students, the Council maintained the current floor of two times the resident, undergraduate rate.
Public universities will also be allowed to submit market competitive resident and nonresident tuition and mandatory fee rates for graduate and online courses.
The Council and the institutions will revisit the ceilings for 2015-16 should there be a change in net General Fund appropriations.
In other business, the Council:
The Council heard reports on college readiness, strategic agenda presentations by the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University, reports from President Bob King and Commissioner Terry Holliday, 2014 legislative session update, Funding Model Steering Committee update, Committee on Equal Opportunities, and Academic Affairs committees. Reports from the institutions were also available.
A resolution honoring and commending Thomas I. Miller for serving as interim president at Murray State University was also presented.
The next meeting of the Council will be June 19-20 at Centre College in Danville.
Council meeting materials are available at https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicAgenda.aspx?ak=1001061&mk=50108838.
We believe in the transformative power of postsecondary education. Stronger by Degrees, the new strategic agenda for Kentucky’s colleges and universities and adult basic education, is powering a stronger Kentucky economy and improving the lives of Kentuckians. To learn more about Stronger by Degrees, visit http://cpe.ky.gov/strongerbydegrees.