In order to make a more accessible tuition and fees model, Kansas State created a Tuition and Fees Task Force. The more accessible model could include differential tuition.
Thomas Lane, vice president of student life and dean of students, said many students and their families find the current tuition and fees model hard to navigate.
“I think that the desire … really came from a broad consensus that the current tuition fees bonding that we have at the university is really complex,” Lane said.
Dean of the College of Business Administration Kevin Gwinner said this will help K-State in the long run.
“The goals are to simplify things to make them more transparent for students to make sure that we’re competitive as a university with other options that students have for education,” Gwinner said. “Then also to make sure that we are still bringing in enough money at the university level to be able to cover all the things that we do with tuition and fees.”
Currently, the committee is considering two models, but Gwinner said they are not ready to reveal those to the public just yet.
“We’re getting near a point where we’ll start to make some recommendations at the university level and then start to vet those recommendations with some different groups,” Gwinner said.
Gwinner said those recommendations could be ready as soon as April.
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This is a two-phase process, Gwinner said. The university hopes to have the first phase implemented this fall.
“This first phase is looking at that fee so it’s the per credit hour fees, the online fees,” Gwinner said, “There are some college-level fees, as well as the privilege fee, and the infrastructure fee, and the Global Campus fee.”
The second phase focuses on differential tuition, Gwinner said.
“It’s the idea that different programs at a university might charge different rates,” Gwinner said. “You know, by course. Let’s say if you’re taking engineering. If you’re an engineering major, perhaps you pay more for engineering classes than you do when you take … an English class in arts and sciences — or it could be the other way around — but different colleges charge different amounts.”
Gwinner said the university would begin to look at this phase immediately after phase one.
Currently, K-State uses a base tuition rate of $312.50 per credit hour for undergraduate Kansas residents and a rate of $841.70 per credit hour for undergraduate non-Kansas residents.
Rates vary for graduate credit hours, the Veterinary Medicine program and the English Language program.
Additionally, colleges and departments charge varying fees per credit hour. The College of Business Administration and the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering charge faculty tuition surcharges of $65 and $80, respectively.
One factor that determines the differential rates include the cost of delivering instruction.
The university established the Tuition and Fees Task Force in November. Lane said they hope to bring a proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents by June.
“I think it’s an assertive timeline, but I think it’s also allowing us to be very thorough in our work,” Lane said.
The committee consists of 14 members from around campus, including one graduate student representative and one undergraduate representative.