Kentucky Rep. files college tuition cap & freeze bill
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More help could be on the way for college students in Kentucky.
This week, Rep. William Lawrence filed HB136, which would cap and freeze college tuition rates at Kentucky’s taxpayer-funded, public four-year colleges.
According to the bill:
Tuition and mandatory student fees shall not be increased for any program more than five percent (5%) a year for incoming Kentucky resident students and seven percent (7%) a year for any non-Kentucky resident students without approval from the General Assembly.
Tuition and mandatory student fees at the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, or a comprehensive university shall not be increased for a resident student until the student completes four (4) continuous years of enrollment in a program, graduates from a program, or upon the termination of the student’s enrollment in the program, whichever occurs first.
If a resident student remains enrolled in a program at the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, or a comprehensive university after four (4) years, the tuition and mandatory student fees charged to the student for any subsequent term in the program shall not exceed the amount of tuition and mandatory student fees for an incoming resident student in the same program that term.
An institution shall notify any non-Kentucky resident student or continuing resident student of any increase of tuition or mandatory student fees at least four (4) months prior to the effective date of the increase. An increase to tuition and mandatory student fees for any program 3 shall be determined by the council or approved by a governing board 4 no later than March 1 of the preceding school year.
“There’s no reason that we can’t allow them to have just a little bit of budgeting there,” Lawrence said. “Instead of saying, ‘well you know next year might go up, three, four, five, ten whatever percent may be.’ When you’re talking about a school that’s charging $15,000, five percent may not sound like a lot until you chalk it up to $15,000. That’s quite a bit of change.”
The bill also proposes to place two additional student representatives on both UK and UofL’s Boards of Trustees.
“This is the option for students to be a part of the decision-making body of that college or university, whatever the case may be,” Lawrence said. “This will bring a new perspective, and I truly think this will make schools that much better "
So far, Lawrence said the bill has support from several student government organizations, including the Student Government Associations at the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Transylvania University and Berea College.
WAVE News talked to two members of UofL student government body, who said they supported the measure and are working to make sure it gets passed.
“This bill, I know can be bipartisan,” Noah Young said. “This bill, I know can reach across the aisle, because it affects everyone.”
“It’s important that we listen to students, right,” Liam Gallagher said. “Without students, this university wouldn’t be here. Without students, the University of Kentucky and all other universities wouldn’t have a cause.”
The bill also proposes the Boards of Trustees must approve any tuition hikes by no later than March 1 of the previous year.
Representative Lawrence said his next step is to get the bill in front of the state education committee.
Copyright 2023 WAVE. All rights reserved.