The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 19, 2013

Kansas regents OK 7.4 percent tuition bump at Pitt State

From staff reports
news@joplinglobe.com

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Tuition at Pittsburg State University will rise this fall by 7.4 percent, or $162 per semester, for a full-time, instate undergraduate.

Tuition this fall will be $2,355, compared with $2,193 last fall.

Under PSU’s flat-rate tuition plan, full-time students pay one rate, regardless of how many hours they take.

The proposal was approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents during a meeting in Topeka.

“We appreciate the Board of Regents’ support and understanding during this time of declining state support and rising costs,” PSU President Steve Scott said in a statement. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to balance these factors against the need to provide a high-quality college education that is also affordable.”

Earlier this month, in presenting the tuition proposal to the regents, Scott said campus officials initially were considering a 5.8 percent increase but boosted that number after state legislators cut the higher education budget in Kansas by 1.5 percent for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

The combined reduction of state general fund resources for higher education is estimated to total nearly $33 million over those two years.

The state’s fiscal year starts July 1.

The current fiscal year’s base state appropriation for PSU is $34.8 million. The fiscal 2014 base state appropriation is $34.4 million. That’s a drop of $400,000. The 2014 budget also includes $500,000 for PSU’s new polymer chemistry program, and that money may be used only for that new program and cannot be diverted to other campus operations.

PSU officials said other factors contributing to the tuition increase include faculty promotions, some salary increases and rising benefit costs.





Scholarships



PSU PRESIDENT STEVE SCOTT noted in a statement announcing the tuition increase that the university has worked to reduce the stress on students by increasing private support for scholarships. The university launched the Pathways to PSU scholarship campaign in 2010. Since then, PSU has created 64 new scholarships. In this past academic year, the university awarded nearly 5,000 scholarships totaling more than $4 million.