Murray State University Board of Regents have authorized an increase in tuition, housing and dining rates for next academic year. The Board of Regents approved in a special meeting on Friday to increase tuition by 5%, housing by 4% and dining by 3%.
The Council on Postsecondary Education recommended a 5% cap on tuition and fees for MSU. Of that, 3% will generate $2.2 million in revenue and the other 2% will be used to address one-time expenditures. The CPE will have the final act on next academic year's tuition.
The 2017-18 budget is still under development and despite the tuition increase there will still be budget reductions in an effort to offset declines and rising pension costs.
Student Regent Clint Combs voted against the increases. Noting cuts in recent years, he said "it seems like students are paying more for less." He said with rising tuition and student loan debt students are beginning to feel like "walking pocket books."
Murray State President Bob Davies and other regents expressed empathy for Combs' concerns. Regent Susan Guess said, "Unfortunately we have difficult decisions to make." She noted that many students from the region end up leaving and going to other universities even though Murray State has a comparatively low rates. Regent Dan Kemp noted other financial pressures need to be considered like a reduction in state appropriation for higher ed and rising pension costs.
Even with the increase Murray State is still among the most affordable in the state.
The budget is expected to be voted on in the June 9 meeting.