Graduate tuition rates up 6.8 percent

In his budget address earlier this semester, President Geoffrey Mearns said that the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education was likely to cap undergraduate tuition increases at three percent.

However, this does not apply to graduate student tuition increases. In the next school year, graduate students will see an average increase of 6.8 percent, a relatively large increase over the last few years, according to Jan Hillard, associate provost for research, graduate studies and regional stewardship.

Between the 2009-10 and 2012-13 school years, the tuition increased at an average rate of 4.48 percent per year, according to the tuition schedules for those years. For a breakdown of individual years, see information below.

In the 2008-09 school year, the first year that the tuition schedule is available for, graduate student tuition increased at an average of 7.66 percent.

Hillard attributed these low tuition increases to attempting to stay competitive.

“[Graduate students] at NKU enjoy tuition much lower than our competitors,” he said, saying that the university’s rates are much lower than regional universities, and are “significantly below” the University of Cincinnati’s.

Hillard said these years of lower tuition increases have cut into the university’s revenue sources. “It’s created some issues, improving the quality of graduate education,” he said, also saying that NKU is a very tuition-dependent institution.

While the university only receives money from the state for undergraduate programs, this money affects the graduate programs as well, because there is an intermingling of faculty between undergraduate and graduate programs, which is not seen at other regional universities.

These proposed tuition increases will go before NKU’s Board of Regents at its May 8 meeting, according to Ken Kline, senior director of the NKU budget office.

 If it is approved by the Board of Regents, then it will go before the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education on June 20.

“By and large, though,” Kline said, “once the board approves the rates, that’s it.”

Graduate Tuition Increases

Average graduate tuition increase per year:

·         2008-09: 7.66 percent

·         2009-10: 3.98 percent

·         2010-11: 4.62 percent

·         2011-12: 4.82 percent

·         2012-13: 4.50 percent

Figures from Office of Planning, Policy and Budget.

Proposed graduate tuition increase rates for 2013-14 school year:

·         Resident: 9.3 percent

·         Ohio/Indiana rate: 9.4 percent

·         Non-resident: 0 percent

·         Online: 8.5 percent

Figures from proposed tuition rate chart, provided by Ken Kline.