Kentucky state universities have endured regular budget cuts for years, and they’ve offset the losses in part with tuition increases.
A Republican state senator wants to stop the latter.
State Sen. Dan Seum, a Louisville Republican, is proposing a freeze on state universities’ tuition rates. He said state universities have increased their tuition at a rate that outstrips cuts to higher education.
“We cut their budget by $165 million, they increased it on the backs of these kids to the tune of $582 million,” Seum said. “I think the universities have seen these kids as nothing more than a cash cow.”
According to a 2015 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Kentucky has cut higher education spending per-student at the highest rate in the U.S.
At the same time, tuition has increased at Kentucky’s public universities at a clip higher than 45 other states’ higher education systems.
Tuition increases must be approved by the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education. Last year, the board approved a 3 percent hike for the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Both schools were granted a 5 percent tuition increase the previous year.
Tuition is only allowed to increase by 8 percent every two years.