Council on Postsecondary Education
Student body presidents voice support for tuition policy
Note to editors: Full remarks by the student body presidents (17K PDF)
The Executive Committee of the Council on Postsecondary Education heard from student body presidents yesterday regarding their views of the Council’s new tuition policy.
Jason Marion, chair of the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents and student body president at Morehead State University, said students at his campus understand that increasing tuition is necessary to maintain quality.
Citing rising energy costs and the need to retain quality faculty and staff, Marion noted that students don’t want their tuition to go up… “but at the same time, they also understand that for them to have a valuable degree they will need to pay more. There’s a tradeoff there.”
“It’s a difficult street to walk down because we’re asking for quality and we’re asking for affordability,” Marion added.
The Council developed the new tuition policy in conjunction with the universities. The policy aligns tuition setting with state appropriations and sets parameters for maximum tuition based upon the amount of state appropriations institutions receive.
The objective of the new policy is to maintain affordability for Kentuckians while meeting the financial needs of the universities.
The Council will meet March 24 to vote on the one-year tuition proposals approved by the governing boards from at least three institutions--University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, and the Kentucky Community and College System. The Council will vote on the proposals from the remaining institutions on April 5, as well as all proposed exceptions.
Other student body presidents who addressed the Council were Bill Brammel of the University of Louisville, Katie Dawson of Western Kentucky University, and Leonard Clemons of Kentucky State University who serves as vice chair of the board of student body presidents.
Brammel said he appreciates the tuition guidelines. “I think the stability it adds to the system is very good and I think it will make students feel very good when they understand the system.
“I think UofL students feel very confident that our administration will do whatever is in its power to keep that number as low as possible without sacrificing the quality of our higher education and the quality of our campus,” he added.
KSU’s Clemons noted, “We’re glad with some of the tuition policies that CPE has set but also we’re hoping for more state appropriations since we’re a little smaller than the normal university. We really want KSU to flourish because we really think it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Kentucky and one of the best-kept secrets in Frankfort. It’s really a jewel and we’re trying to give it a shine,” Clemons explained.
Dawson also expressed concern with educational quality issues in regards to a proposed student fee and the projects it will support.
“What our job has been as students that are informed in student government is to explain to students how this small fee could help prevent future students from having to pay a larger fee or a bigger increase in tuition… But it’s more of just our students realizing that if they want a quality education not only are they going to have to increase a little bit more for tuition but they might be asked to further pay a student fee,” she said.
In other business, the Council reviewed an analysis of the 2006-08 House budget recommendation with a comparison to the Governor’s budget recommendation and discussed funding policy development.
Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 235,083 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.