PSU presents tuition plan

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED MAY 14, 2014 PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

Pittsburg State University presented a tuition proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents this afternoon that includes the smallest percentage increase in 14 years. If approved, tuition for full-time undergraduate students paying in-state rates will go up $113 a semester, or 4.8 percent, beginning in the fall.

PSU uses a flat-rate tuition plan, which means full-time students pay one rate, regardless of the number of additional hours they take.

“The tuition committee and the President’s Council worked very hard to keep the increase to the lowest level possible,” said PSU President Steve Scott. “We balanced the need for quality with that of affordability. The end result is that, even with these proposed increases, the cost of attending Pittsburg State is still among the lowest in the region.”

The president noted that the budget passed by the Kansas Legislature this year with the governor’s support maintained essentially flat operating grants for the state’s universities. The lawmakers targeted any additional funds for higher education at specific programs such as PSU’s Career and Technical Education Teacher Development and Innovation Center.

“We’re appreciative of the targeted enhancement, but cuts to our general fund in recent years are placing us in a difficult position,” Scott said. “This year, because state support remained essentially flat, we were able to keep tuition increases to a minimum in order to cover required costs such as longevity pay increases, faculty promotions, fringe benefit changes and other costs related to staff.”

Scott said the university has used a number of strategies to reduce costs, including slowing the hiring process, delaying equipment purchases, postponing maintenance projects and boosting its savings through sustainability efforts.

A great deal of study goes into the tuition proposal each year, according to Scott. It begins in January with the appointment of the tuition committee, which includes representatives from PSU KNEA, the Faculty Senate, the Unclassified Senate President, the Classified Senate, alumni, Student Government Association, Budget and Human Resources, academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies and Administration and Campus Life.

The committee receives requests from across campus and makes a recommendation to the President’s Council based on tuition history, peer tuition comparisons, enrollment data, budget needs for the upcoming fiscal year and action taken by the Kansas Legislature.

If approved by the Board of Regents, in-state, full-time undergraduate tuition will be $2,468 a semester. That keeps PSU in a very competitive position in terms of cost, Scott said.

Pittsburg State’s tuition remains in the lower one-half of the MIAA and in the middle of regional competitors. PSU’s tuition is 70 percent of its national peers.

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