Story by Collin Morris, News Editor, and Sabra Jackson, Staff writer
The Murray State Board of Regents officially approved price increases for tuition, housing and meal plans for the 2017-2018 school year.
At a special session Friday, April 21, nine of the board’s 10 regents voted in favor of proposals to raise tuition prices by five percent, housing by four percent and non-flex meal plans by two percent.
Earlier this month, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) set the university’s cap on tuition increases at five percent.
Murray State President Bob Davies said the board’s choice to maximize the increase is a long-term solution.
“The goal is to have a more consistent approach to fluctuation over time,” Davies said. “Current students will be paying more to offset contributions in the future.”
Davies said students admitted before 2016 will have a $198-tuition increase per semester. Students admitted after Summer 2016 will have a $210-increase in tuition. The students admitted after Summer 2016 have a different scholarship academic grid; therefore, their scholarships will be increased to help offset the difference.
Student Regent Clinton Combs was the lone nay vote on the measures. Combs, who will graduate in May, said Murray State emphasized affordability when he first arrived, but has raised its tuition costs by as much as $1,122 in his time at Murray State.
Combs also said students are paying more for less and as the university continues to cut services and programs.
Jackie Dudley, vice president of finance and administrative services, said the university has taken a look at everything on a unit level and made expenditures as minimal as possible. Through this, the university has seen a $1.2 million reduction in expenses.
Dudley also said the decline in enrollment by international and graduate students has cost the school roughly $4.5 million, and the reduction in students enrolling in summer courses has reduced income by $500,000. The university also has a reduction of students signing up late for classes, which reduced nearly $5,000 of income as well.
Additionally, the Board of Regents approved the university’s purchase of a property on 1602 Miller Ave and encouraged the school’s athletics department to pursue the prospect of moving to other athletic conferences upon rumors of interest from the Missouri Valley Conference.