Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

CPE approves tuition ceilings, updates Dual Credit Policy and KSU Management Plan

March 31, 2023

At its meeting Friday, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education approved tuition and mandatory fee ceilings at public colleges and universities for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years.

The state’s four-year institutions will be limited to no more than a 5% increase over two years, and no more than 3% in any one year. The colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System can raise tuition no more than $7 per credit hour over two years and no more than $4 per credit hour in any year. As part of the agency’s responsibilities, CPE has authority under KRS 164.020 to determine tuition at public postsecondary education institutions in the state.

“Based on feedback from multiple stakeholders and recognizing that many Kentucky students and families and the state’s colleges and universities are coping with the effects of inflation, there is general sentiment that increases in resident undergraduate tuition and fees should be moderate in academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “We believe these ceilings support a necessary balance between the ability of students and families to pay for college while ensuring the resources required for institutions to maintain quality academic programs, address cost increases and support ongoing progress toward the state’s college attainment goal.”

The state has seen a relatively low level of tuition and fee increases over the past four years. During this time, tuition and fees for resident undergraduates grew at an average annual rate of 1.4% per year, or about one-third of the prior period’s growth rate.

Because of this, the state’s colleges and universities have been unable to fully recover losses from state budget cuts or fully cover increased spending demands caused by inflation through higher tuition and fees. Rather, the funding gap has been addressed through campus cost savings and efficiencies, added Thompson.

It is anticipated that most postsecondary institutions will submit their proposed 2023-24 tuition and fee rates for review and approval at the June 6 meeting of the CPE Finance Committee.

In other action, the Council approved revisions to its Dual Credit Policy, which provides guidance to both high schools and higher education institutions on dual credit programs in the state. Since the establishment of the policy in 2016, the Kentucky General Assembly created the Dual Credit Scholarship, removing financial barriers from high school students to take two dual credit courses at no cost and additional courses at a subsidized rate. Since 2016, dual credit enrollment has increased by 75%, and currently 42% of high school seniors are graduating with college credit earned through early postsecondary opportunities.
Among the proposed amendments was the addition of a Dual Credit Attainment Goal. According to the new policy, by 2030, 50% of Kentucky high school students should graduate high school having completed at least one dual credit course with a qualifying grade of a C or higher.

“The first of its kind nationally, Kentucky’s Dual Credit Attainment Goal emphasizes the importance of access to dual credit for all underserved populations,” said Amanda Ellis, CPE vice president of K12 policies and programs. “It creates expectations for the level of dual credit access students should have, sets aspirational participation and success levels for Kentucky, and sets aspirational participation and success levels for specific populations of students.”

The amendments also include sections on Dual Credit Teacher Credentialing and Responsibilities, ensuring faculty teaching dual credit courses “possess the same academic credentials and/or documented professional experience required by the institution of all of its faculty.” The revised policy also includes a Dual Credit Review and Revision Process that requires CPE to convene an advisory council tasked with making recommendations to support dual credit policy; promoting the quality and rigor of dual credit courses; leading the development of tools and resources to support high quality dual credit practices; and creating a space for stakeholders to provide input into the functioning of the dual credit policies and programs.

The Council also approved several amendments to the Kentucky State University Management Improvement Plan. Among the amendments were plans for $500,000 of the $5 million appropriated for KSU incentives in FY 2023 that CPE has yet to allocate. The funds will go to curriculum design, a salary study, summer bridge programming, student mental health support, and financial and business management professional development for administrators.

In other action:

The Council's meeting materials can be found here. The next meeting of the Council will be held June 9 at Cumberland Falls State Park.

Last Updated: 4/3/2023