LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas' Four-Year Tuition Compact will enable 65 percent of the school's undergraduates to have no tuition increase in the coming year, according to the 2012-13 tuition proposal submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents.
Other resident undergraduates and graduate students on the Lawrence campus would see tuition and fees rise by 4.9 percent, the smallest increase since 1999-2000.
The additional funds would go to enhancing students' academic experiences, increasing financial aid, retaining excellent faculty and staff, and covering required expenses. State funding for operation of the university has been essentially flat since the 2009-10 academic year. That trend is expected to continue in the coming year.
"This proposal was developed by students, faculty and staff, and strikes a balance by keeping KU affordable while ensuring students have the resources and opportunities they need to graduate and be successful in their careers," said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
The proposal was assembled by a committee composed of seven students, four faculty members and four administrators.
Should the proposal be approved by the Regents at their June meeting, a portion of the funds would be used to expand the Honors Program and experiential learning opportunities such as undergraduate research and study abroad. The plan also emphasizes services that increase student retention and success, especially in their first year at KU.
Grants for students with financial need would be increased by 12.2 percent, bringing the total to $10.1 million. This is in addition to the substantial amount of need-based aid that is provided through private donations. Funding would also be made available to provide merit salary increases to talented faculty and staff so as to avoid losing them to other universities.
To minimize the size of the increase, KU is in the midst of an effort called Changing for Excellence, which seeks to reduce administrative costs and reinvest the savings to teaching and research. For example, maintenance operations are being consolidated, and new procurement practices will be put into place.
Under the proposal, new Kansas freshmen entering the Four-Year Tuition Compact would pay tuition and student fees 4.9 percent higher than the previous compact, but that would be locked in for the next four years. Nonresident students entering a compact would see a 5 percent rise but again would have tuition and fees fixed for four years.
Students not in a tuition compact, such as transfers or undergraduates in their fifth year, pay standard tuition and fees, which for resident students are proposed to increase by 4.9 percent. Standard tuition and fees for nonresident undergraduates are proposed to rise by 6.7 percent.
Resident graduate tuition and fees on the Lawrence campus are proposed to increase by 4.9 percent, while nonresident graduate tuition and fees would rise by 5 percent.
Tuition for students at the KU Medical Center is proposed to increase 6 percent, with fees increasing by different percentages depending on the program a student is in.
A full copy of the tuition proposal, including rates for the Edwards campus and Pharm.D. program, is available for download.