Kansas regents to consider proposed tuition hikes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Some public university students in Kansas would see tuition increase by almost 9 percent this fall under proposals being considered by the state Board of Regents.

The regents are expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on new tuition rates proposed several universities across the state, including the University of Kansas, Kansas State, Wichita State, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State and the University of Kansas Medical School, among others.

The changes would raise an additional $34 million during the fiscal year beginning in July.

The increases would partially offset cuts in state funding approved this year by legislators while allowing for faculty salary increases.

Out-of-state graduate students at Emporia State University would see the biggest increase at 8.8 percent. The smallest increase, 3 percent, would be for out-of-state veterinary medical students at Kansas State University.

For undergraduates from Kansas, tuition would rise 7 percent at Kansas State and slightly less than 5 percent at the University of Kansas.

Kelly Jay, a parent of an incoming KU freshman, says she is taking drastic measures to decrease the amount she pays for her son's tuition. Jay has chosen to move from Kansas City, Mo., across the state line to Lawrence, Kan., so eventually her son will be eligible for in-state tuition.

"Luckily for me I have my own business so I can move,"  Jay explained. "But for a lot of people they can't just sell their home and move their jobs. Since I'm able to do that and it will save us a lot of money, and I can be closer to my son, but he doesn't need to know that," she finished with a chuckle.

Jay says she also attended KU back in the 1980s, and since then tuition has risen more than $15,000 a year.

"I'm rearranging my life just to make his college affordable for us. It cannot be more chaotic than this. I only have one child. I can't imagine what parents of multiple children do to afford this," she said with a sigh.

Sam Roseri, a senior KU economics major, says he worries about not finding a job immediately after graduation and having to pay back student loans. He says his sister just started paying back her loans and it's daunting.

"The tuition should not go up for students like me who have financial issues. It's going to make it a lot harder for kids to come here to KU," he said.

Lee Crippen, a senior KU engineering student, says he wonders what it will be like when his children are college age.

"If it continues to increase this much for the next 20 years when my kids go to school, it'll be almost unaffordable," he explained.

Trey Giesen, a KU senior studying global international studies and Slavic languages and literature, says the cost of college is daunting. "It is overwhelming to know the exact amount of money I owe especially since I'm going to grad school after this and that's just going to accrue even more loans," he said with frustration.

Michael Stejskal, a KU senior finance and economics minor, has a positive outlook. He says he realizes college costs are bound to increase, but the education is worth every penny.

"Managing my money down the road, I feel like I can take care of whatever the expenses are. It's the cost of education I guess," he explained.

At K-U, the tuition could increase $13.20 per credit hour from $266.65 to $279.85 for in-state students.

At K-State, the tuition could increase $17.10 per credit hour from $243.90 to $261.00.

At Wichita State, the tuition could increase $13.90 per hour from $173.50 to $187.40

The Board of Regents meets at 2 p.m. in Topeka.

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