By Linda Blackford | Lexington Herald-Leader

The coordinating agency for Kentucky’s public colleges and universities is expected to set a 3 to 5 percent limit on tuition increases for the upcoming school year.

The Council on Postsecondary Education will meet Friday to consider staff recommendations for tuition caps, which the CPE began setting annually in 2009 after many universities raised rates by double digits for several years.

The CPE staff is recommending these caps:

▪ 3 percent for Western Kentucky University

▪ 4 percent for the University of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University

▪ 5 percent for Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University and Murray State University.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System can raise rates no more than $6 per credit hour, which translates to a 3.9 percent increase.

The University of Louisville has already announced that it will not raise tuition next year.

Universities can choose to increase tuition less than the recommended limit but they rarely do so because of repeated state budget cuts. Individual universities will announced their tuition rates closer to June as schools prepare their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

If UK implements the maximum increase, juniors and seniors would pay $12,112 annually, the first time UK has been above $12,000 for in-state undergraduates. WKU would hit $10,000 a year for the first time.

“After a very thorough process, we believe these rates strike the right balance between keeping cost affordable for students and their families, while providing adequate funding for our campuses to address fixed and unavoidable budget challenges,” said CPE President Robert King.

Each campus is considered individually, hence the different rates.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said setting tuition rates is the last step in building a yearly budget, since tuition can be adjusted in various ways to fill revenue shortfalls.

“Our goals remain the same: moderate tuition increases to ensure affordability and accessibility; increased investment in scholarships and aid, particularly targeting students with financial need; sustained investment in faculty and staff through predictable increases in salaries to enable us to remain competitive for talent; and financial stewardship that ensures our capacity to invest in student success and groundbreaking research and scholarship,” he said.


Students will pay these tuition rates if the recommended tuition caps are approved and implemented:

  • UK (freshman and sophomore): $11,773, up $453
  • UK (junior and senior): $12,112, up $466
  • UofL: $11,068, up $0
  • EKU: $8,996, up $428
  • KSU: $8,186, up $390
  • Morehead: $8,818, up $420
  • Murray: $8,341, up $397
  • NKU: $9,360, up $360
  • WKU: $10,003, up $291
  • KCTCS: $160 per credit hour, up $6 per credit hour