- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - With higher education funding still below pre-recession levels, all six of Kansas’ state universities have asked the Board of Regents to raise tuition and fees for the next incoming freshman class.

The University of Kansas is seeking a 3.4 percent hike under a proposal it submitted to the regents on Wednesday. The increase would mean a resident freshman arriving in the fall will pay $5,224 per semester - $170 more than the last freshman class - while an out-of-state freshman would pay $12,437, an increase of $429 per semester, The Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/T65Pgx) reported.

“Our goal is to balance the strong desire to maintain access with the equally strong need to ensure that the education students receive at KU prepares them for successful lives and careers,” said Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

Wichita State asked for the largest increase at 7.5 percent, followed by Emporia State at 5.6 percent, Pittsburg State at 5.5 percent, Kansas State at 5.2 percent and Fort Hays State at 2.5 percent.

The Kansas Legislature last year slashed funding to the University of Kansas by nearly $14 million, while restoring less than one-third of that cut this year.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 states last year started restoring some of the reductions they made during the recession, but Kansas was among eight states that continued to cut.

Gray-Little said state higher education funding at her university this year is $249 million, which is $24 million less than the $273 million the school received in 2008.

The proposed University of Kansas increases will help pay for merit pay increases of an average of 1.75 percent to key faculty and staff members, Gray-Little said.

The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to vote on the rates in June.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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