Kentucky's public colleges and universities can raise tuition by eight percent over the next two years.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education unanimously passed the two-year tuition and mandatory fee ceiling during a meeting Tuesday in Murray. The potential increase allows universities to offset dwindling state funding. The first-year increase is limited to five percent.
In an email to faculty and staff, WKU President Gary Ransdell said he will recommend to the Board of Regents a tuition increase of 4.8 percent for in-state residential students for the fall 2014 semester.
"This, along with 50 percent state support for our KERS retirement contribution increase and with reallocations among the various divisions of the University, will allow us to balance our budget for next year," wrote Ransdell.
The budget also funds a one percent cost of living adjustment for employees and more than $4 million in additional funding for student financial assistance.
CPE President Bob King says Governor Steve Beshear wanted only a four percent increase over one year instead of the unusual two year-plan. CPE chair Pam Miller says the council wanted to give universities as much flexibility as “politically possible.”
It’s estimated that state institutions will generate an additional $66 million dollars in revenues over the 2014-15 school year thanks to the tuition hike, while institutionally-funded student aid will increase $26 million dollars.