Tuition at Kentucky universities could increase as much as 5 percent this year and 8 percent over the next two.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education met Tuesday in the Curris Center to discuss this new biennial tuition plan, among other issues on Kentucky campuses.
The CPE also decided to include “gender identity” and “gender presentation” in the definition of diversity in Kentucky higher education.
Issues at Mid-Continent University and Georgetown University were discussed at length, along with possible remedies for these financial crises.
The most anticipated decision, however, was the first vote the CPE made.
Instead of setting a cap on the percentage Kentucky universities could increase their tuition for the 2014-15 academic year, the board instead proposed a two-year plan.
Although it passed an 8 percent total and 5 percent cap in the first year, the cap can be re-evaluated next year if state funding is cut again to universities.
Jay Morgan, vice president for Academic Affairs, said he was pleased with the CPE’s vote.
“We were very pleased with the proposal that passed today and it will be up to our Board of Regents now to determine what the final percentage will be,” he said.
The Board of Regents could decide to increase tuition by 5 percent or less this for the 2014-15 academic year.
If it chooses to increase tuition by 5 percent in the fall, it can only increase tuition by 3 percent for 2015-16.
Morgan said he does not think increasing tuition would effect enrollment at Murray State.
“Our board is a pretty well-educated board and they understand the ramifications of setting tuition at a proper place that’s best for the University,” Morgan said. “I think all of them have the institution in mind when they cast their vote.”
If tuition increases by 5 percent during the 2014-15 academic year, each credit hour for Kentucky residents would increase from $293.50 to $308.18 per hour.
The maximum (12 credit hours a semester) undergraduate tuition amount would increase from $3,522 to approximately $3,698.10. Tuition for regional and out-of-state students would increase as well.
President Tim Miller said there will be another open budget forum for the University community to attend before the final budget is submitted to the board.
“I hate to raise tuition for students, but we have no other choice in balancing our budgets,” Miller said in an email. “State appropriations have been reduced by over $9 million for Murray State since 2008.
“Students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends must let the state know that prior budget cuts should be restored to higher education in order to maintain the quality of the educational experience that students expect.”