University of Kentucky students from the Bluegrass State will pay 3 percent more for tuition and fees this fall, an increase that brings tuition to $10,780 a year for first-year students.
The UK Board of Trustees approved the change unanimously Monday and without discussion.
Housing and dining costs also are on the rise. Housing costs will increase 3 percent and dining costs will jump 3.2 percent.
Students from other states will continue to pay an ever-growing portion of UK's bills: an estimated 37 percent of the student body this fall, out-of-state students will pay 6 percent more for tuition and fees.
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The Council on Postsecondary Education requires out-of-state tuition to be twice as much as that for Kentucky residents.
UK officials have said state budget cuts have forced them to become more reliant on the higher tuition that those students pay. In all, cuts in state aid have totaled $55 million since 2008.
The tuition increase was no surprise. Last year, the Council on Postsecondary Education set a cap on tuition increases of 8 percentage points over two years; most state schools, including UK, raised tuition 5 percent last year.
UK charges slightly more to junior and senior undergraduates than freshman and sophomores, making the average tuition bill for all in-state undergraduates $10,936 in the fall, an 85 percent increase since 2005.
Student fees will include a $36 hike to help pay for upgrades at the Johnson Wellness Center and a $175 million renovation of the student center. That increase was included in the 3 percent total, so it did not have to get approval from the UK Student Government Association, officials said.
Eastern Kentucky University students last week voted to approve a $300 fee for new wellness and dining facilities.
UK officials touted this year's increase as one of the lowest in recent years. Tuition has increased an average of 4.25 percent during each of the past four years, well below the more than 10 percent average annual increase from 2005 to 2008, according to the university.
"We have made a strategic and thoughtful effort to slow the rate of increases in tuition for our students," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "At the same time, through efficiency and hard work, we've sought to more competitively pay our faculty and staff while also finding innovative paths and partnerships for rebuilding and transforming our campus."
Capilouto said students would be helped by $101 million in financial aid, an amount that has doubled since 2008. Chief budget officer Angie Martin said giving some of that financial aid to out-of-state students attracts more of them, bringing a net gain in tuition revenue to UK.
UK officials touted an education there as a good deal, citing numbers from a study of 2,859 students who started at UK in 2007. Of the 61 percent of those students who graduated, 53 percent did so with no student debt. Of the remaining students, the average debt load was $26,976.
UK had its largest-ever freshman class this past fall, with 5,185 students, and officials said they expected more than 5,200 freshmen to attend in the fall.
The yearly total "cost of attendance," which includes tuition, housing, dining and all living expenses, will be $26,700 next fall for Kentucky undergraduates and $40,000 for students from other states.
Graduate students will see the same percentage increases as undergraduates. However, tuition at professional schools will vary as UK attempts to match market rates more closely. Pharmacy doctoral students, for example, won't see an increase because those rates are judged to be near the top of the market. Medical students from in and out of state will see a 3 percent increase.
Weston Loyd, a junior from Paducah, said there hadn't been much reaction on campus Monday afternoon because spring break just started and students don't really know about the tuition increase. (The trustees' meeting originally was scheduled for February, but snowstorms caused two cancellations.)
Although he has a scholarship that covers his tuition, Loyd said he'd like to see UK find a way to lock in a student's tuition rate for four years, as some schools have done.
"It would get old to have an increase every year," he said.