Kansas Board of Regents approve tuition increase, tougher admissions
- Jun. 22, 2012
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The national student loan debt is now more than $1 trillion, which is higher than the country’s credit card debt, but this trend doesn’t seem to be near an end as University tuition increases once more.
The Board of Regents met June 20 and approved the University’s proposal to increase tuition and assign new standards for admission.
Current students in the tuition compact won’t be affected by the increase, but those entering the undergraduate class of 2016 can expect standard tuition rates to rise by 4.9 percent for in-state students and 6.7 percent for out-of-state. Required fees for all students will also increase by 3.5 percent to $440.
“Tuition increases can be prohibitive for students who want to come to school, especially with the economy as it is, but we’re also seeing cuts in state funding, so it’s understandable,” said Emma Halling, a junior from Marian. “We keep talking about how we want to bring business and economies to Kansas, so if we want that to be something other than manual labor, you have to invest in education.”
A lack of state funding may leave the University with fewer options, but this year’s proposal was the lowest increase since 1999. The pitch to raise tuition was created by the Tuition Advisory Committee, which is made up of students, faculty and administrators at the University. Former Student Body President Libby Johnson, who picked the students on the committee, said that increased tuition is a necessity to continue to offer students the best services possible.
“It has happened so many years in a row because we haven’t seen the support that at one point we did have from other sources, such as the state of Kansas,” Johnson said. “When that happens, the school is put in a real jam. You either have to cut back or find resources somewhere else, and a lot of that has come from tuition.”
According to the proposal, the funds created by the increase in tuition will be used to enhance various areas of the University. Included in the proposal’s list was a $1.1 million KU Tuition Grant to help students in financial need, provide funds to retain faculty and staff, and continue improvements in technology on campus.
Tuition Advisory Committee member and recent KU graduate Julia Barnard said that a common trend among institutions is a 3 to 7 percent tuition increase each year, but the committee found this yearly increase to be unsustainable. Barnard understood the financial burden tuition can have, but encouraged students to get involved with government to make a change.
“Those who are unhappy with the tuition increase should get involved not only with Student Senate, but also in local and state elections and vote for candidates who will fund public education,” Barnard said. “Tuition increases are direct responses to the budget cuts coming from the state.”
The Regents also approved new standards for admission for incoming freshman. For automatic acceptance, students must have an ACT score of 24 (1090 SAT) with a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or a score of 21 (980 SAT) with a 3.25 GPA. The current requirements for admission are a 21 on the ACT, rank in the top third of their class, or have a 2.0 GPA.
Edited by Megan Hinman