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Kentucky universities given go ahead to increase tuition

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) College could get even more expensive.

The Council on Postsecondary Education will allow universities and community colleges across the state to increase tuition.
Paying for college is usually the main concern for students.

“I get a little bit of financial aid, but it doesn’t cover everything. So I take out student loans and I’m working two jobs right now,” Hazard Community and Technical College student Cara VanVranken said.

That’s why students and parents sometimes cringe when they hear the words: tuition hike.

Members on the CPE approved Tuesday to allow Kentucky community colleges and universities to increase tuition.

The panel says that the increase is necessary due to less state funding and higher university expectations.

“Every year we’ve seen increases in utilities, increase in supply costs and food costs and all the things that we provide for the students, the costs have gone up every year,” HCTC President Dr. Stephen Greiner said.

The approval allows universities to increase tuition by up to 8% over the next two years. The hike was capped at no more than 5% in either year and would apply to in-state undergraduate students.

The panel also allowed community colleges to increase tuition by 4% over the next two years.

We broke down those numbers to see what that means for students.

A 4% increase in tuition at Kentucky Community and Technical College System would be $69 higher than what students are paying right now per semester.

It’s a lot more for students at universities, like University of Kentucky. An 8% hike would mean forking out about $400 more, making tuition more than $5,000 for just one semester.

“The first two years is a significant savings for families,” Dr. Greiner added.

As the president of HCTC, Dr. Greiner understands the struggle students and families face when going to college. He says 99% of students at his college receive some type of financial aid.

“I had a large stack of scholarship letters that will be going out today for students that will be receiving scholarships for next year,” Dr. Greiner said.

Marah Combs is in her third semester at HCTC and plans on transferring to Morehead State University after completing her first two years.

“It’s a lot. It’s definitely a lot cheaper to do your first two years at [HCTC] and then transfer,” Combs added.

Members on both Board of Regents for universities and community colleges will vote on the tuition hikes in June.

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