The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a 6 percent increase in tuition and fees for the 2011-12 academic year. However, the move encountered substantial opposition from some trustees.
Six members of the board voted against the increase, a rarity for the group that often votes unanimously or with only one or two dissenting.
Ryan Smith, the student trustee, spoke against the increase, saying that increasing tuition by 130 percent during the past 10 years "is a substantial burden on the citizens of our state."
Low-income students and first-generation college students might become discouraged by the constant increases and not go to college, said Pam May, a trustee who is a Pikeville attorney.
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"I am afraid we are losing students who need it most," she said.
Tuition and fees for in-state freshmen and sophomores will increase to $4,564 a semester, an increase of $259, and to $4,696 for in-state juniors and seniors, an increase of $267.
Two law school students, who are facing an increase of 7.8 percent in tuition, spoke to the finance committee Tuesday and asked members to consider the debt burden the increases put on students who borrow tens of thousands of dollars to get their degrees.
"The opportunity is slowly going away" for students who are the first generation of their family to attend college, said Derek Hall of Flemingsburg.
The trustees voted 12-6 for the tuition increase.
Voting against it were Smith; May; Penny Brown, a commercial real estate developer from Corbin; Erwin Roberts, a Louisville attorney; Charles Sachatello, a retired Lexington surgeon and UK faculty member; and former professional football player Dermontti Dawson of Lexington.