UK Proposing Lowest Tuition Increase In Four Years

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - University of Kentucky officials are proposing a 9 percent increase in the next school year's tuition, which would be the lowest hike in four years if approved.

The raise must be passed by the board of trustees, which is scheduled to meet Jan. 23.

Incoming freshmen would see an increase each semester of $293, to $3,548. The total annual costs for tuition, housing, dining and mandatory fees would climb by $835, to $12,835, for 2007-2008.

UK President Lee Todd said the increase would allow the school to hire more faculty members and offer them competitive salaries. But some students denounced the proposed increase.

Jacob Jordan, a senior from Bardstown, said the proposed increase outpaces inflation and earnings and will "force financial hardship for some families."

The proposed increase will be discussed during a public forum Tuesday in UK's student center.

Isaac Salsman of Lexington, a junior English major, said he hadn't seen any increase in the "quality of education" that would justify the tuition increase.

Salsman suggested the tuition seems to be rising along with the rising compensation for Todd, who was given a $115,000 bonus last June, bringing his salary to $451,000.

Corey Kline, press secretary for UK's Student Government Association, said she believes the lower increase is "a baby step
toward progress."

But she said student leaders plan to ask the university and General Assembly to fund campus improvements without more tuition increases

The University of Louisville doesn't plan to announce its proposed tuition for 2007-08 until March, spokeswoman Denise Fitzpatrick said.

UK Trustee C. Frank Shoop, a Georgetown car dealer, said the proposed increase "sounds reasonable to me, considering the high
cost of education at this time."

In a statement, Todd said that "any increase places an additional burden on students and families."

The trustees approved a 12 percent increase for 2006-07, and increases of 14.4, 13.6 and 12.5 percent for the three school years
before that.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)