Affordable means accessible: FHSU continues to lead state in low tuition and fees, making higher education available for everyone

The Kansas Board of Regents this week approved standard resident tuition rates for the six state universities for the upcoming 2008-2009 academic year, and Fort Hays State University continues to offer the lowest tuition and fees in the state.

"We're by far the best buy in the state," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president. "FHSU again has the smallest dollar increase and, at $91.35 a credit hour, we are the only state university that offers a tuition rate of less than $100 an hour."

The newly established tuition rates for undergraduate, in-state students range from a 4.9-percent increase at Emporia State University to a 6.0-percent increase at the University of Kansas. However, while FHSU's percentage increase was slightly higher than ESU at 5.5 percent, the actual dollar increase on FHSU's already lower tuition was less than the dollar increase for ESU. Based on a 15-hour semester, tuition at ESU will increase by $77.00 in the upcoming 2008-2009 academic year, compared to only $71.25 at FHSU.

More significantly, the difference is even greater when comparing the increase for both tuition and fees, which together represent the actual expense a student must pay for each hour of credit. FHSU's 2008-2009 tuition and fees for a 15-hour semester will be $1,770.00, an increase of $92.25. Tuition and fees, and the amount of increase, for the other five universities:
∑ Emporia State, $2,068.00, $105.00
∑ Pittsburg State, $2,161.00, $131.00
∑ Wichita State, $2,542.25, $140.25
∑ Kansas State, $3,313.65, $196.25
∑ University of Kansas, $3,520.85, $221.10

"The board recognizes the heavy financial burden hard-working students and their families bear as students pursue higher education," said Donna Shank, the newly elected chair of the Regents. "Tuition enhancements are necessary if our institutions are to maintain the high quality of education that Kansans deserve and demand. We are pleased that in this challenging economic environment, institutions were willing to work within the board's guidelines to keep tuition increases near inflation levels and at their lowest levels in nearly a decade."
A recent survey conducted by the Regents compared the tuition and fee rates of Kansas' six state universities to similar institutions in neighboring states for the recently concluded 2007-2008 academic year. Kansans who attend Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University and Pittsburg State University, the state's three regional institutions, pay $773, or 20 percent, less than residents in neighboring states to attend similar institutions each year.

With the lowest tuition and fees in the Regents system, FHSU offers the most affordable education in the region. "Compared to the other Kansas universities, students are looking at a savings that ranges from $500 a year up to $3,500 a year," President Hammond noted. "And the difference is even greater in academic areas where some of the other universities charge a higher tuition than their base rate."

Hammond pointed out that FHSU's low tuition and fees are consistent with its slogan of "Affordable Success."

"Our slogan represents a promise to students, parents, the public and state leaders that FHSU will provide access to a high-quality university education at a price that even those in the lower 40 percent of the state's income distribution can afford," he said. "By combining low tuition and fees with financial aid available for nearly 80 percent of students, we keep our promise of affordability on campus and online. But being affordable is only part of the promise. More importantly, FHSU's strong academic programs, extensive co- and extra-curricular opportunities, and a fully mediated learning environment give students the knowledge and skills they need to achieve success, both in the classroom and throughout their lives."

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