LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2013) ― University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto Tuesday told members of the Board of Trustees that holding tuition increases for in-state students to 3 percent for the coming year "reflects our commitment to making the Kentucky Promise real for more students from our Commonwealth."
Specifically, tuition per semester for first-year Kentucky students would increase from $4,838 to $4,983. For out-of-state students, tuition would increase to $10,226 per semester from $9,932, a 6 percent increase.
However, out-of-state tuition for three key medical and professional programs ― medicine, pharmacy and dentistry ― would increase by only 3 percent, a reflection of an increasingly competitive marketplace.
"Our goal at the University of Kentucky is to place students first in everything that we do," Capilouto told the Board of Trustees. "One important way that focus manifests itself is in our efforts to create a high-quality learning environment that is more affordable and accessible to more Kentucky families. Today, even in a time of continued economic constraint, we are living up to the Kentucky Promise that guides us to do what is right for our state and for our future ― these students who we prepare for lives of leadership, meaning and purpose."
The board Tuesday also considered changes to room and board rates for 2013-2014. Under the proposal, rates for premium, or newer, residence halls would increase 4 percent.
The modest rate increases demonstrate another benefit of the move to revitalize student residential housing. UK's partner in building new residence halls — EdR — is proposing to charge $3,325 and $4,988 per semester for double and single suites, respectively, in the newest residence hall, New Central, which opens in August. That market rate, Capilouto said, is forcing the university to hold down rent increases for existing housing stock.
"This partnership — and the quality of the housing being provided — is having the added benefit of forcing the university to be even more sensitive to what is happening in the marketplace for housing," Capilouto said. "That is benefiting our students from the onset of this initiative."
Finally, the Board of Trustees also considered a proposal to take the minimum, mandatory meal plan for students living on campus from five meals per week to seven -- an increase in cost from $1,166 to $1,300.
However, the move — aligned with what many universities do in terms of minimum meals provided — would increase the cost to students by only 12 percent while increasing the number of meals by 40 percent. It's one way, Capilouto said, that the university can try to ensure that more students are getting good meals while living on campus.
In general, UK is moving ahead with its proposals for tuition, room and board earlier than previous years. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is expected to set tuition parameters for the state's public institutions in April and approve proposed tuition rates in June.
University officials, however, believe it is critical to give students and families as much information as early as possible about tuition, financial aid and scholarships.
Capilouto said he will bring a university budget to the board for its consideration in June. Tuition revenues are a critical component of that budget planning process. Capilouto said he remains committed to a 5 percent salary increase pool for faculty and staff, while holding the line on key benefits such as health insurance and parking.
"We live in a time of dramatic change in both our economy and in higher education," Capilouto said. "The economy continues to impact levels of state and federal support. Technology is creating both more competition for us, but also more opportunity to explore innovative modes of education delivery and learning.
"The University of Kentucky will be successful because we will maintain a commitment to providing students with access to some of the world's best faculty, while creating innovative and high-quality environments in which to live and learn — all with an acute sensitivity to cost and access. That goal — and that focus — undergirds our efforts to revitalize our campus core with new student housing and learning and research space, all of which are being done right now with our own resources and not a dime from the state. And it is reflected in our efforts to increase access and affordability while competitively compensating the faculty and staff that prepare these students and create transformative discoveries."
More details about proposed tuition, room and board and fees can be found at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2013/mar/welcome.html.