The Murray State University Board of Regents has authorized a 3% increase in tuition and mandatory fees for the next academic year. The board voted on the increase and approved other rates in a special meeting on Friday. Student Regent Tori Wood voted against the rate increases.
The change means an increase in full-time resident tuition rates of either $126 or $132 depending which tuition model a student is enrolled under. For students admitted prior to the tuition model implemented in 2016, the rate would be $4,296. For those admitted after, the rate would be $4,542. See more about the rates here.
President Bob Davies compared the increase to rates proposed at other public universities in Kentucky. “This places us exactly in the midpoint between Eastern Kentucky and Morehead University and it’s something to be very mindful and considerate of that that is a good place for us to be,” Davies said.
The rates still need approval from the Council on Postsecondary Education. The CPE has limited any tuition increase for undergraduates to no more than 6% over the next two years and no more than 4% in any one year.
The board approved a 3% housing increase for double rooms and 2% for private and suite rooms. Dining will also have a 3% rate increase. Davies noted that with these increases, Murray State is still below the halfway point compared to peer institutions. If dining were to be outsourced, the board still maintains authority over rates.
The board approved course and programs fees. These fees vary depending on the course and program. The board discussed a need for these fees to be transparent to students. Davies said students would be informed about the extra cost said this effort would be in place for the freshmen class next year. Online course fees are being restructured. Online courses are currently $65 for undergraduate students. This will be raised to $75. Additionally, the graduate program online fee will be a $100 course fee (instead of 130% of tuition), which will lower the total cost to the student on a credit hour basis by about $28.
Prior learning assessments and proficiency reviews fees were also approved. This is a mechanism for students coming in with prior experience (such as military experience) where that experience could be applied to courses or programs offered at the university for academic credit. This would be a one-time fee per student. Davies said this would a ‘customized’ process involving measurements on a case-by-case basis.
Parking rates for blue and red zones will increase from $100 to $200. Economy lots will rise from $60 to $100. Disability lots will rise from $60 to $100. Motorcycles will pay $75. The university will provide opportunities for vendors to buy permits. In Paducah and Hopkinsville, students pay a $2 per credit hour for parking. This is not changing. Faculty and staff in those locations would pay the economy rate, which would increase from $60 to $100.
University officials have said the increases are a matter of necessity to offset budgetary pressures from a decline in state appropriation and an increase in pension costs. The university is also proposing outsourcing and other cuts to address a $10.1 million shortfall. Davies has said tuition and fees will be a 'driving force' for the university moving forward.
The board next meets on June 8 to approve the budget for the next fiscal year.