Community reactions turn negative as tuition increases


Tuition for K-State’s upcoming academic year will increase by 3.6 percent. Student privilege fees will also rise 2.6 percent. For an in-state, full-time undergraduate, that translates into an additional $157 per semester and $402 for out-of-state students.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved of the tuition increase on June 19. After a lengthy budget debate in Topeka, lawmakers instituted a tuition cap of 2 percent plus an additional percentage based on the 2014 consumer price index for the next two fiscal years.

Although some universities tried to increase student fees, those proposals were denied by the board. Kenny Wilk, board chairman, said in a statement that the board translated lawmakers’ requests into an overall increase cap, not just tuition.

“While the need for increased resources remains great,” Wilk said. “We are asking our higher education leaders to be strategic, knowing we will continue to press the Kansas Legislature to increase funding for public higher education.”

In a written statement, President Kirk Schulz said across the board pay raises for faculty and staff would not happen this year due to the tuition cap. Community reaction to the increase has not been positive.

“Ughhhh!” Kelly Ribble, of Manhattan, wrote in a Collegian Facebook posting about the increase. “I have 2 kids in school … their education will pay off some day, but today this hurts the pocket book.”

“I think Sam Brownback should be impeached for trashing the Kansas Educations (sic) System with this 2012 tax cuts and causing a $400+ million deficit this year,” Mark Curnutt, whose son and daughter-in-law both attend at K-State, said in a written statement. “But that’s just my personal opinion.”

Ethan Erickson, assistant vice president for Budget and Planning, said although the Seaton Hall revitalization project will continue as scheduled, funding for building maintenance dropped.

“We draw upon the educational building fund to help with the cost of repairing our buildings,” Erickson said. “We went down from $35 million to $29 million in (fiscal year) 2016. Although it’s supposed to go up the next year, anything can happen between now and then.”

In addition to the tuition and privilege fee increase, the College of Veterinary Medicine will see a tuition increase of 3 percent. Approval was also given to a College of Human Ecology fee of $20 per credit hour, College of Business Administration tuition surcharge increase of $15 per credit hour and College of Engineering tuition surcharge increase of $15 per credit hour.

Read the revised proposal document for more information about the upcoming tuition and fee increases.