UK announces tuition increase. Faculty and staff getting raises.

Should college students pay more for some classes?

At the University of Kentucky, 32 percent of all classes come with added fees to pay for instruction on top of tuition.
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At the University of Kentucky, 32 percent of all classes come with added fees to pay for instruction on top of tuition.

The University of Kentucky will raise tuition by 2.4 percent for in-state undergraduate students this fall, creating a price tag of $12,360 per year, according to a campus email sent Tuesday by President Eli Capilouto.

In-state tuition has gone up 112 percent since 2005 and 46 percent in the past decade, thanks to a combination of state funding cuts and increased costs. The Council on Postsecondary Education, the state’s higher education oversight agency, capped tuition increases at 6 percent over two years. Last year, UK raised in-state tuition 2.5 percent.

Tuition for out-of-state students will increase 6.2 percent to $30,680 this fall.

The UK Board of Trustees will approve the university’s entire budget in June. The board already approved housing and dining rates, which will go up 3 percent for most students.

UK faculty and staff will share a 2 percent merit raise pool under the proposed budget; UK HealthCare is on a different budget schedule and will decide raises in the fall.

“As we craft our budget, our priorities will continue to be: ensuring affordable access to the outstanding education you provide to our students; providing competitive compensation for the faculty and staff who make our work possible; and continuing our strategic investments in our research and service missions,” Capilouto said.

The General Assembly ended a popular tuition waiver program that allows public university employees to take free classes at other schools. UK will pay for 1,100 employees to continue.

Employee health care benefits will stay roughly the same, according to Capilouto, and monthly parking fees will increase $3.

UK has lost nearly $70 million in state funding in the past decade; state appropriations make up only about 8 percent of the total budget, including UK HealthCare. Although UK is not part of the current public pension morass that is threatening regional universities, most experts seem doubtful that any new funding will be available next year because of state budget woes.

That means UK relies more and more on tuition, especially from the higher rates paid by out-of-state students, who now make up about 35 percent of the student body.