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State Council Approves No Hike in NKU Tuition, Credit Hour Cost Increases at KCTCS

Northern Kentucky University students won't see an increase in tuition this year under plan approved Friday by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. NKU and four other public universities in the state stated that they would not raise their costs to attend as part of a strategic effort to maintain current costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council did not cap tuition for the 2020-21 academic year but encouraged campuses to limit increases as students grapple with the financial fallout from the pandemic.

“Higher education is bracing for significant financial challenges over the next 18 months, yet campuses are taking every possible step to keep tuition low and limit the impact on students and families,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “It’s clear that campuses are placing students first in all their decisions, and I want to commend their commitment to affordability in these tough times.”

In addition to NKU, institutions that abstained from raising rates included Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, and Western Kentucky University. The “no hikes” approach applies to resident and non-resident undergraduates and resident and non-resident graduate students at these campuses.

Budget officials from the five universities and CPE estimate that forgoing increases in tuition will contribute to revenue shortfalls in 2020-21, which could range from $2.4 million to $16 million depending on the campus. Meanwhile, fixed and unavoidable costs are expected to grow across the system, CPE said in a news release.

The council approved a plan from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), which includes Gateway Community & Technical College in Northern Kentucky, to increase rates by $5 per credit hour for resident undergraduates and $10 per credit hour for non-residents/

That will boost revenues by about $2.5 million; however, fixed costs at KCTCS are expected to increase by nearly $30 million next year.

The University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University were still finalizing tuition proposals as of Friday. The council has authorized its Finance Committee to review and approve those proposals in July.

-Staff report