June 06, 2013 12:00AM
Pittsburg State University presented a proposal to the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday that increases tuition by $162 a semester for full-time undergraduate students paying in-state rates, beginning this fall.
“This is a very carefully studied plan that takes into account additional cuts made by the state legislature this year,” PSU President Steve Scott said.
Scott told the board that even with the increase, PSU’s tuition rates are among the lowest in the region and in the MIAA. When compared to eight similar universities that are considered peers across the U.S., PSU’s 2013 fees and tuition were the lowest.
In the 13-member MIAA, the president noted, PSU’s fees and tuition in 2013 were lower than eight other schools.
“It’s the hard work and dedication of our incredible faculty and staff that allows Pittsburg State University to continue to offer its students accredited academic programs that are highly regarded around the country and at a cost that is one of the lowest in the region,” Scott said.
Last fall, full-time undergraduate students paying in-state rates paid $2,193 in tuition each semester. The proposal submitted Thursday would bring that to $2,355, which is an increase of 7.4 percent over the previous year. Under PSU’s flat-rate tuition plan, full-time students pay one rate, regardless of how many hours they take.
Scott said that in addition to this year’s cuts in state aid, other factors made the tuition increase necessary.
Faculty promotions, some salary adjustments, changes to fringe benefits, and a budget adjustment in response to the FY 2013 enrollment mix all played a part, he said.
The president noted that the university has been working hard to keep costs down.
“We have derived savings from our campus sustainability efforts. We have slowed hiring and eliminated positions. We have postponed equipment acquisitions and delayed maintenance projects,” the president said.
Scott told the regents that the university was not allowing difficult budget times to keep it from moving forward.
The president cited recent enhancements like the establishment of a new polymer chemistry degree program, expanded instructional technology across campus, increased online course offerings and the implementation of an electronic purchasing system.
“Pittsburg State University has a very positive forward momentum,” Scott said. “We must not lose that. These cuts are going to make this a challenging year, but we will continue to move forward.”
The second and final reading of the tuition proposals for all of the regents universities will be at the board’s regular monthly meeting June 19-20.