College tuition increases 0% to 2%, Thompson tenure extended

Courtesy of MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education has approved final tuition rates for public colleges and universities next year, keeping increases near historic lows while helping campuses rebuild their revenues after the pandemic.

Kentucky State University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System are waiving rate increases altogether. All other public campuses have adopted rates of 2% or less, complying with the tuition fee caps set by the CPE last month.

“The past year has tested our values ​​like never before, and I am proud to say that higher education is living up to its commitments,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “These rates strike the right balance between affordability for students and flexibility for campuses, and I want to thank all of our institutions for holding up through a difficult time.”

Rate changes apply to tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate resident programs in the 2021-22 academic year. They include:

  • University of Kentucky – 1%
  • University of Louisville – 1.7%
  • University of Eastern Kentucky – 2%
  • Kentucky State University – 0%
  • Morehead State University – 1.9%
  • Murray State University – 0.9%
  • University of Northern Kentucky – 1%
  • Western Kentucky University – 1.8%
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System – 0%

Last month, the Council adopted caps for the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The move allowed universities to increase tuition fees by up to 3% until 2023, an average increase of 1.5% each year. However, campuses couldn’t increase rates by more than 2% in a year.

The Council also limited the tuition fee increases at KCTCS to $ 5 per credit hour over the next two years, or 2.7% until 2023. However, the KCTCS can only increase the rate by $ 3. per credit hour over a year.

Overall, the approved rates for 2021-2022 represent an average increase in tuition and fees of 1.2% system-wide. This follows a historically low average increase of 0.7% in the current year and an average of around 4% per year over the previous decade.

Meanwhile, campuses have faced unprecedented budgetary challenges related to declining enrollment and cuts in state funding. Fixed and unavoidable costs for campuses are also expected to increase by nearly $ 117 million next year, or about 3.2%. It is estimated that revenue from next year’s tuition increases will only cover about 20% of this need.

Campuses are also grappling with additional costs of $ 480 million and lost revenue from the pandemic. Federal relief funds helped mitigate much of the financial impact. However, cost and revenue losses at many institutions have exceeded federal grants, and officials expect this gap to continue to grow over the next year.

Thompson said the federal relief – along with new campus funding in the state budget – was key to keeping rate increases to a minimum. He commended the Kentucky federal delegation, Governor Andy Beshear and state lawmakers for their support.

“Our state and federal leaders have rallied around us in a powerful way this year,” he said. “I want to thank them all for their continued leadership throughout the pandemic and for their commitment to the students, who will play a vital role in our recovery over the next few years.”

In other actions, the Council approved nine new university programs, including:

  • NKU – Master of Science in Health Administration,
  • United Kingdom – Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering,
  • United Kingdom – Master of Science in Biostatistics,
  • United Kingdom – Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology,
  • United Kingdom – Bachelor of Science in Lean Systems Engineering,
  • UofL – Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science,
  • UofL – Doctorate in social work.

The Council also:

  • Extended President Thompson’s term to June 2026, moved his annual review schedule from the calendar year to the fiscal year, and set his compensation at the amount allowed by law.
  • Approval of a new cultural competency accreditation process.
  • Approved new academic readiness indicators for 2022-24 and the revised and updated study and program review policy.
  • Adoption of inter-state tuition reciprocity agreements with Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Review of the annual campus diversity, equity and inclusion assessment report.
  • By-laws 13 KAR 1: 030 and 13 KAR 2: 100 expire and are repealed.
  • Received an update on the development of the new strategic statewide UEY program.
  • Received reports from Thompson and Jason Glass, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education. He also received an annual briefing from OJ Oleka, president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.
  • Received ‘good news’ reports from campuses as well as reports from the Academic and Strategic Initiatives, Finance, Management and Equal Opportunities Committees.

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