Eli Capilouto

Keeping UK Affordable is our First Priority

Published: Aug 1, 2014

An issue in the news of late — both nationally and in our Commonwealth — has been the understandable concerns of parents and students across the country about the cost of higher education.

 

It’s a critically important issue. A college degree remains the single best indicator of future economic success as someone with a bachelor’s degree will, on average, earn close to a million dollars more over the course of a lifetime than someone without that credential. If that degree is out of reach economically for more and more families, it means that we are leaving behind too many children who can do the work and contribute greatly to our campuses and our world.

 

We all lose when that happens. At the same time, UK and public universities throughout the country have faced significant reductions in state funding resulting from the national recession. Many states, fortunately, are beginning to reverse that trend. But for our university, state appropriations have been cut by some $55 million on a recurring basis since 2008.

 

At the University of Kentucky, we have a few simple principles that inform how we address this complex issue:

 

First, Kentuckians come first. If a Kentuckian meets our academic standards and criteria, we want them at the University of Kentucky. The vast majority of our enrollment time, energy and resources go toward recruiting Kentuckians.

 

We also believe that a more diverse student body — diverse in all its forms, including recruiting students from outside our state — helps create a more comprehensive and deep educational experience. So, we’re growing our enrollment — both as an educational and financial imperative — to achieve the right balance of students, one that honors our commitment to Kentucky and to creating a diverse student body.

 

Second, we are devoting more resources toward scholarships and financial aid to help students — particularly Kentucky students — attend college without huge debt burdens. Consider the fact that last fall, more than 85 percent of UK undergraduates from Kentucky received scholarships or financial aid they did not have to repay. On average, the out-of-pocket expense for tuition in Fall 2012 for resident students was about $1,200.

 

About half of UK students graduate with debt; about half do not. Of those who do, the average debt is less than $25,000 — below the national average.

 

Third, we’re working hard to lower the rate of tuition increases to moderate levels to keep higher education affordable. In 2006, the four-year average increase for tuition was 13 percent. As of next year, the four-year average will be less than 5 percent.

 

 

Moreover, we are looking at the full range of student costs to try to ensure access and affordability. This fall, because of a new dining partnership with Aramark, we will lower the cost of every dining plan, while at the same time providing more options, more convenience and healthier food choices. We also will begin investing some $70 million — through our partnership — in new facilities that will create more options and also provide more support for student services and learning.

 

 

All of that is part of a comprehensive approach to creating sophisticated, but welcoming, living and learning communities that provide the best possible educational experience for our students. Again, utilizing a partnership with a national leader, we’re investing up to $500 million in private equity to building thousands of new residence hall rooms and learning spaces throughout the campus. With EdR's investment, we are able to create modern living-learning communities without expending state funds or tuition dollars. 

 

In short, our most important principle is to place students first in everything that we do. That includes working to keep costs down, while providing a robust and high-quality educational experience for all of our students — particularly those from our Commonwealth who represent our state’s best hope for a bright future.

 

That’s a job without end — one that is our first and most important priority. 

 

But I’m proud of what we are doing at UK to transform our campus to make it even better and more affordable to more students across our state and region.

 

See blue.

September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 

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