Kentucky state universities can raise undergraduate tuition by 8 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 at Murray State University.
The potential increase allows universities to offset dwindling state funding.
The council's measure limits the first year increase to 5 percent. MSU president Tim Miller said he plans to recommend that 5 percent increase to the MSU Board of Regents. That body next meets June 6.
“That allows us to give a 1 percent – or at least recommend at 1 percent raise for faculty and staff and we wouldn’t have been able to do that with a 4 percent increase, so I’m very pleased,” Miller said.
Miller, who was honored by the CPE with a resolution praising his service to education, said he has discussed the coming tuition increase with MSU student organizations and that the students are willing to pay more for their education.
“I hate to have the students pay increased tuition each year and each year, but it’s essential to maintain the quality of education that we offer at Murray State University,” Miller said.
CPE president Bob King said Gov. Steve Beshear wanted only a 4 percent increase over one year instead of the unusual two-year plan. CPE chair Pam Miller said the CPE wanted to give universities as much flexibility as “politically possible.”
It’s estimated that state institutions will generate an additional $66 million in revenues over the 2014-15 school year thanks to the tuition hike, while institutionally-funded student aid will increase by $26 million. The two-year increase at KCTCS institutions is a maximum of 4 percent.
The measure passed also allows the council to revisit 2015-16 ceilings if there’s a change in state funding.