KCTCS passes budget with 6.1 percent tuition increase, no raises

The Bluegrass Community and Technical College administration building.
The Bluegrass Community and Technical College administration building. Lexington Herald-Leader

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents approved its budget for next year, which includes a 6.1 percent tuition increase for students and no raises for faculty or staff to help deal with continued budget cuts.

State support is decreasing 4.5 percent over the next two years. KCTCS said the $839 million budget shows a $48.5 million reduction from the prior year and an $89.1 million reduction since 2013-14. The budget does not include any salary increases for faculty and staff, including all top administrators such as President Jay Box. Earlier this spring, KCTCS announced it would cut 500 positions to deal with continued cuts. After retirements, that meant about 45 faculty and 125 staff were laid off.

The tuition increase was capped by the state at 6.1 percent, which KCTCS chose. It means that per credit hours will cost $156, compared to last year’s cost of $147. Students who live in counties contiguous to Kentucky will pay $312 per credit hour, and all other out-of-state students will pay $546 per credit hour.

The state budget did include a new $16 million scholarship program for community college students to help them finish their degrees, but it won’t go into effect until 2017.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford