Budget woes: State budget lifts cap on tuition

Chance Swaim

Tuition and fees at Wichita State have increased 78 percent in the last 10 years, and next year it could increase again. 

Kansas lawmakers approved a budget Monday that will require Gov. Sam Brownback to cut $17.6 million from the state’s regents universities. 

WSU will lose about $2.2 million in state funding for next year.

The budget bill passed both chambers of the Legislature with votes of 63-61 in the House and 22-18 in the Senate.

The budget removed a cap on tuition the Legislature imposed on the regents universities last year. That means the university could make up for the loss in state funding through a tuition increase.

This year, Wichita State tuition rate increases were capped by Kansas lawmakers at 3.6 percent. Wichita State increased tuition 3.6 percent.

In fiscal year 2006, Wichita State tuition and fees were $2,115.50 per semester for resident undergraduates on a 15-hour semester schedule. Ten years later, for the same number of credit hours, that cost has grown to $3,763.80 in fiscal year 2016. 

Of Kansas Board of Regents universities, Wichita State had the second lowest tuition and fees increase in 10 years. The University of Kansas tuition and fees increased by 99 percent and, Kansas State saw a jump of more than 80 percent.

To make up for the $2.2 million loss of aid, assuming undergraduate enrollment at 15,000 students, Wichita State would need to generate an additional $146.66 a student in the 2016-17 school year.