UK Budget Focuses on People

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 6, 2017) – President Eli Capilouto said the University of Kentucky’s proposed $3.7 billion budget for 2017-2018 will make historic investments in faculty and staff, while continuing to focus on affordability for students and families. 

Specifically, the recommended budget and tuition and fees being presented to the UK Board of Trustees Tuesday would include: 

  • A salary merit pool of 2.5 percent that, if approved, would be the fifth consecutive year under Capilouto that faculty and staff have received salary increases — an unprecedented investment in recent memory. 
  • A 4 percent tuition and mandatory fee increase for students from Kentucky; 6.5 percent for students from outside the state. This would be the fifth consecutive year of tuition increases of no greater than 5 percent for Kentucky resident students.
  • An 8 percent increase in student financial aid and scholarships funded by UK to $126 million.  

“We are focused on our people — the students we serve and the faculty and staff who carry out our mission and moral responsibility to teach, conduct research, and provide care and service throughout our Commonwealth, and around the world,” Capilouto said. “This budget reflects our priorities of student success and affordability, consistent movement toward competitive pay for our employees, enhancing academic quality and a commitment to being a community of belonging that makes our university stronger and more vibrant.” 

Highlights of the proposed budget include: 

  • Tuition and mandatory fees for first-year students would increase for Fall 2017 to $5,886 from $5,660 last year for Kentucky students. Non-residents would pay $13,928 this fall, up from $13,078. 
  • This is the fifth consecutive year of tuition increases of no greater than 5 percent for Kentucky resident students; and out-of-pocket expense for tuition and fees each semester for undergraduate resident students has grown by less than $600, on average, between 2010 and 2016. 
  • As a result of the increase in institutional aid and scholarships, about half of UK students continue to graduate without debt. The default rate on federal student loans for UK students is 4.4 percent; the national default rate is more than 11 percent.  
  • Last fall, 85 percent of resident undergraduates received student financial aid or scholarships. These students paid, on average, about $1,360 out of pocket for the semester in tuition and mandatory fees. And families with the most need pay the least. Most students coming from a family with income of less than $20,000 paid about $465 out of pocket for tuition and mandatory fees for fall 2016. 
  • UK would make an investment of $2.5 million toward colleges with proven programs and measurements that improve student success. Additional dollars are being invested in a continuing fighting fund to help retain faculty. 
  • The total budget would increase by about $100 million over last year, largely the result of the continued expansion and strength of UK HealthCare. 
  • Debt service would represent less than 3 percent of the proposed operating budget even with more than $2.2 billion in construction on living, learning and research spaces in the last six years under Capilouto and the Board of Trustees. 
  • The university would make an investment of $1 million in a recurring capital renewal pool – which now is up to $8 million – to address deferred maintenance and modernize our campus. And a new fund, with an initial $500,000 investment, will create for a pool of funds to address utility needs. 

“Our board has made clear under President Capilouto that we must be focused intently on our missions of education, research, service and care,” said UK Board Chairman Britt Brockman. “This budget does that with strong financial management and clear investments in the students we teach, the research we conduct that addresses our state’s most significant challenges, and the growing presence of our health care enterprise across Kentucky. 

We are focused on Kentucky. And, and as this budget reflects, we are focused on the future.”  


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uk4ky #seeblue