Proposals show little change in tuition for most state universities, WSU raises fees

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT) – The cost of college at most of the state’s universities isn’t likely to increase much this year. New proposals show what students can expect.

2021-2022 proposal to Kansas Board of Regents

All but one of the state universities are proposing to either lower tuition and fees or raise them by less than 1%. The only exception is Wichita State.

Shockers won’t see an increase in tuition, but fees send overall costs up more than 4%.

“Our online fee is going to be spread out among all the students across campus as opposed to just being charged to online students,” Wichita State President Richard Muma said.

That’s a $200 per semester increase for the average Kansas student.

“Because of the changes that we’ve had to make because of the pandemic, many of the faculty have adjusted how they teach and they’re using technology more,” Muma said. “It doesn’t mean they’re going to be teaching entirely remotely or online, but they may be using more technology tools in-person kinds of class activities.”

For KU, K-State, Emporia State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State, tuition and fees aren’t changing that much. K-State is raising tuition by $57, but that’s offset by the university dropping $67 worth of fees.

School leaders said trying to keep costs low was important to them.

“Making sure that higher education is accessible to Kansans is incredibly important,” said Emporia State President Allison Garrett.

This is the third straight year there’s been a push to keep the cost of Kansas colleges from spiking.

The biggest change to numbers comes with Emporia State. The university is deciding to decrease out-of-state tuition by more than $3,000 a semester.

“We sometimes look at out-of-state tuition as the ratio compared to in-state, and we were just a little high we thought, and so this will be helpful, I believe,” Garrett said.

The change would put Emporia State as the cheapest state university option for out-of-state students. It currently is the second-cheapest for in-state tuition behind Fort Hays State.

These are all just proposals as of right now. For them to go into effect, they have to be approved by the Kansas Board of Regents next month.

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