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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘That’s pretty extreme’: Incoming freshmen react to university tuition increase

Wren Johnson
Incoming freshmen shared their concerns about the 5.9% increase in tuition at Wichita State.

As students new and old flock to campus for the start of the fall semester, some are raising concerns regarding one of the highest tuition increases amongst Kansas universities in recent years. 

Earlier this summer, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a 5.9% increase in tuition for Wichita State University.  

The percentage translates to a $13 per credit hour increase for in-state students and a $32 increase for out-of-state students.

Compared to the six other universities in the KBOR system, WSU has the second-highest percent increase. The last tuition increase, the reportedly lowest tuition increase request in 30 years, was for 1% in 2021.

Fort Hays State University, one of the six universities in the KBOR system, had the highest percent increase at 7%. The highest tuition increase in recent history at Wichita State was in 2014, with an increase from 4% to 8%.

Shortly after the announcement, Provost Shirley Lefever published a public letter, stating that the “realities of growing inflation costs have made it harder for all Regents universities to maintain current tuition.” 

Incoming freshman Jackson Stephens said that he’s tired of inflation being the alleged source for every price increase, from gas prices to tuition to groceries.

“I feel like that inflation thing is just kind of a false excuse to raise prices,” Stephens said. 

According to Lefever’s letter, the funds will go toward further supporting student success and recruitment, graduate teaching assistants, retaining faculty, facilities operations, capital assessment and supplying scholarships.

“An important note is that three of the past four years, Wichita State has avoided raising tuition,” Lefever said in the letter. “And with this increase, that averages a 1.7% increase over five years — still keeps WSU as one of the most competitively priced universities in our state.”

James Cox, a freshman aerospace engineering student, said that even though the increase is distributed over time, it’s still a drastic increase for incoming students.

“The jump from 2% to 5.9% – I think that’s pretty extreme,” Cox said.

Students can also expect to see an increase in mandatory fees to support campus infrastructure and support, student support services and technology and transportation fees. The College of Health Professions, the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the Barton School of Business will also see an increase in college fees.

A breakdown of tuition and fee increases depending on credit-hour and residency status can be found on the WSU tuition and fees website

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About the Contributors
Allison Campbell
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.
Wren Johnson
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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