Story by Bailey Bohannan, Staff writer
Returning Murray State students will face a tuition increase in Fall 2016, but the specifics of the new tuition model haven’t been decided yet.
Davies said two different tuition models have been proposed for current and returning students when he presented at the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting and the University Hall meeting last week.
The first proposal would include a 5 percent tuition increase across the board for all current and returning students, while all other fees and rates remain the same.
The second proposal would include a 4.5 percent tuition increase, remove the current web premium and add a $65 web fee for online classes. In addition, students would be charged additional tuition for credit hours over 15.
The second proposal received the majority of support by the SGA members present at the meeting.
Emma Boehm, sophomore from Waterloo, Illinois, also supports the second proposal. Boehm is currently ahead on her credit hours, making her a sophomore even though this was her first year of college.
She said the credits she needs for her exercise science major do not require her to take over 15 hours in the coming semesters, therefore she said she will not be affected by the tuition charged for hours more than 15. She also said she is interested in taking online classes in the future and the reduction of cost for web premiums would benefit her.
Hannah Rickard, freshman from Eddyville, Kentucky, said she would prefer the first proposal with a 5 percent increase across the board.
Rickard said she will have to take more than 15 credit hours in the future and is scheduled for 17 credit hours next semester. She said she won’t benefit from the web premium reduction because she doesn’t take many online courses and doesn’t plan to do so.
“Having to pay for credit hours over 15 is doable, but I feel like the students who are going above and beyond by taking more than 15 hours should have some type of discount or reimbursement for going the extra mile,” Rickard said.
Davies said at the University Hall meeting last Thursday that the tuition proposal chosen will ultimately come down to him. He and the executive team will be making their final recommendations to the Board of Regents on May 13.
“These are, indeed, challenging times, but we will not lose sight of our commitment to providing each of our students an exceptional educational experience,” Davies wrote. “There will be changes, but together as a university community, we will persevere.”
Gov. Matt Bevin signed the Kentucky State budget into law on Wednesday, April 27. The tuition increase comes as Murray State and other public universities in Kentucky face $9.1 million in cuts, of which $3 million will fall on students to make up through higher tuition.
However, in an email to Murray State faculty, staff and students, Davies wrote he would not put all the pressure on the students through tuition.
“I want to emphasize that while we must raise tuition to help offset a portion of these financial challenges, we will not place all our financial needs on you – our students,” Davies wrote.