Tag Archives: tuition

President James Ramsey

Ramsey warns of future tuition hikes, students react

By Kylie Noltemeyer & Olivia Krauth–

President James Ramsey visited Frankfort this past Thursday to warn lawmakers of the potential side effects of their proposed 2.5 percent budget cuts. While nothing is set in stone, Ramsey said that there would be no way to avoid tuition increases and layoffs if the budget passes in April.

“We’ll continue to do everything we can to move forward, but with the proposed cuts, tuition is going to go up more than we would like for it to go up,” Ramsey said. “We’ll continue to have reductions in employment, and the worst case scenario would be layoffs.”

Ramsey did not say how much he speculates the tuition increase could be.

If the tuition increases do take place, students will not be happy. Here is how some students reacted to the news:

“I feel like if college is so important, why do they keep increasing tuition and making it harder for everyone who wants to get an education to be able to pay for it?” -Avery Davenport, sophomore biology major.

“Are they going to increase scholarship opportunities to compensate then? Because that is what I would be expecting.” -Carmen Keehn, freshman nursing major.

“If they are going to increase tuition, that should also mean they have to offer better professors and facilities for us. I think as long as they do that, it’s fine.” -August Schoenbaechler, sophomore psychology major.

For more information on the proposed budget cuts, check out our story at Louisvillecardinal.com/2014/02/proposed-ky-budget-hits-hard/

The Louisville Cardinal file photo



University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey presented an online budget forum earlier this week. He encouraged the entire student body to attend.

Another year, another tuition hike: State-mandated increases top U of L budget forum talking points

By Maggie Cunningham–

University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey presented an online budget forum earlier this week. He encouraged the entire student body to attend.

University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey presented an online budget forum earlier this week. He encouraged the entire student body to attend.

Students will see a raise in undergraduate tuition by 3.1 percent in the coming year. The increase was approved at Thursday’s budget forum and represents the smallest tuition hike in recent years.

The overall budget for the 2014 fiscal year totals $13,955,400. This ranges from student, faculty and research needs as well as structural fixes.

U of L is looking to add an extra 100 students to the incoming freshmen class making it a rough 2,750 students for the class. The university is also estimating a savings of $2,750,000 from the voluntary separations recently organized.
Expenditures for the budget would include a recurring salary increase from a 4 percent pool, as well as a financial aid increase to match to 3.1 percent tuition increase for students.

The three step process for approving the Univeristy of Louisville’s budget of the 2014 fiscal year started  with a budget forum on Monday, March 15. The U of L President, Dr. James Ramsey reviewed several important topics before revealing the budget itself.

“We were given a mandate from the Kentucky General Assembly 15 years ago to be among the nation’s best universities, and we’re making progress,” Ramsey said. “We’d like to say that we’re on a pretty good trajectory.”

Ramsey also explained that unemployment rates and the state budget have a great effect on the schools’ budget. Ramsey says, “The biggest challenge we face and will continue to face is economic, particularly the state budget.”

The state’s overall unemployment rate, like the majority of the country, has seen several spikes and drops over the last decade.

“This is important because if people are working, they are paying sales taxes and they are paying income taxes. That makes up about 75 percent of the states’ general fund,” said Ramsey.

Alternately, the economy and state revenues are growing. Unfortunately, the state expenditures are also growing; this means that higher education does not get the funding that it should ordinarily receive.

Corrections spending and debt spending both also get prioritized above higher education.  Instead of giving more funds to schools and students, the state must instead pay for prisoners of the state to remain behind bars. “For every prisoner, you could be funding at least three students for higher education,” Ramsey said.

The 2012-2013 year marks the first time in the history of U of L that private support is now greater, at $141.8 million, than state support, at $141.1 million. In addition, the budget from the current fiscal year saw the biggest cut the university has ever had to make at 6.4 percent, $9 million.

President Ramsey says his goal is to avoid making university-wide budget cuts and layoffs like many other Kentucky schools have and will be forced to do this year, such as the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.
The principles that the budget focused on this year included minimizing tuition increases, increasing student aid, funding fixed costs, providing recurring salary increases, not increasing any broad based fees such as parking and maximizing the university’s ongoing seven point strategy for success.

Employee health insurance is also expected President Ramsey acknowledged that decisions such as tuition increases are not easy to make but necessary. In addition, among other state schools, the increase this proposed budget is looking to make is less of an increase and the 3.1 percent is a mandatory minimum. Ramsey said, “We’ll make the hard decisions and do the hard things to keep progressing.”

The University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees also met to discuss several important decisions and honor several students, faculty members and teams.

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams were honored and praised for the championship and runner-up winnings. Several team members including Shelby Harper, Antonita Slaughter, Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva attended the meeting. Also in attendance were women’s head coach Jeff Walz, men’s assistant coach Andre Mcgee, and athletic director Tom Jurich. “The accomplishments of the men’s and women’s teams were second to none,” Jurich said.

Photo by Rae Hodge/The Louisville Cardinal

Photo courtesy of Sidewalk Flying/Flickr

Skipping class costs you

By Wes Kerrick–

Photo courtesy of Sidewalk Flying/Flickr

Imagine opening your eyes on a rainy morning, loathing the mocking sound of your alarm clock. It’s 8 a.m. and you have a class at nine. But so little sleep has happened since you crashed from yesterday. Frustrated, you roll over and drift to sleep again. Forget class.

Sound familiar?

Next time you feel like ducking class, think about this: for a full-time student, each class meeting costs roughly $31.25, and somebody’s paying for that.

I learned this lesson the hard way, after my freshman and sophomore years at a private university in Tennessee. My scholarship had covered only my first year; a gift from family had covered the second. I had neither grasped nor valued the enormous investment that others had placed in me. My class attendance had been shoddy. Now I was out of money.

It’s taken three years and a lot of work to get to U of L. Now that I’ve learned just how hard one must work to earn the tiniest drop in the tuition bucket, my pattern of showing up for class is nearly perfect. Let me explain why yours should be the same.

As you likely know, U of L in-state, full-time tuition and fees amount to $5,156 per semester. To break that down, let’s assume my 15-hour class schedule is pretty typical. Based on my course syllabuses, I have a total of 165 class meetings. So $5,156 divided by 165 class meetings is $31.25 per class meeting.

Perhaps you are here on a scholarship, either from U of L or an outside foundation. Perhaps your parents or grandparents paid your tuition. Perhaps Uncle Sam is picking up the tab for you, or you’re the recipient of a gift from Frankfort. Maybe you’ve taken out a loan. Or maybe you just paid the bill yourself. However you got here, somebody’s paying for it. Somebody’s paying $31.25 per class meeting.

What else could you do with $31.25? You could buy a new shirt, take your boyfriend or girlfriend out for a modest dinner, or pick up about 10 Happy Meals. Or, with a few more bucks, you could sponsor a child in an impoverished country. But you’re here, and that means you’ve decided to spend that money on your education, as have I. We made that decision because we’ve seen the value of education in today’s professional environment.

So then, the real choice is whether or not you’ll get what you’ve paid for. It’s 8 a.m., and you have class at nine. Will you go? It’s a decision only you can make.


Editorial: Students get a raw deal with rising education costs, budget cuts

The recent unveiling of tuition increases paired with education budget cuts can be quite worrisome for students, and for young people looking to get the most out of college and plan for the future.

The University of Louisville has yet again raised student tuition. That’s understandable, given the growing demand for education, but it would be an easier pill to swallow if we could be assured that we are getting what we pay for.

With college degrees becoming more and more common, the saying that “a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma” has never been closer to truth. With a college degree costing more every day and carrying less weight, colleges and universities should be finding new ways to increase the value of education to keep up with the rising costs. But with the budget cuts thrown on top of tuition increases, it seems the gap between value and cost is spreading, with one going up and the other going down.

Mitt Romney’s education stance doesn’t exactly make students feel optimistic either. As a country, we should be investing in the future. With the economy in its current state, the future is an unclear site. It seems we should be doing as much as we can to ensure a bright future instead of an uncertain one. The future starts with education, and if we want great things for future generations, shrinking the Department of Education is not a promising solution.

We know that one defining characteristic of conservatives is the push for a smaller government and less government spending, but it seems there are plenty of places to trim before the education system must go to the chopping block. For some reason, our government feels the need to create tax burdens instead of tax payers, when in fact, the opposite would make more financial sense.

If the government would invest more in education, they would create taxpayers with higher paying jobs and in turn generate more tax revenue. But instead, we disperse tax funds that discourage ambition. We understand that many people need and benefit from welfare systems, and they shouldn’t be punished for the misuse by the abusers of the system. But a restructuring is in order; a structure that encourages ambition, personal growth and education, instead of one that suppresses it. Whether an abuser or not, it’s hard to go get a minimum wage job when sitting at home is financially more beneficial. This just means that the government will continue to pay these bills and never gain revenue from these investments. The system should work as a helping hand, not a crutch.

We simply feel that education is the basis of local, national and personal progression, and if the government feels the need to reorganize the system, education should be off limits, unless changes are going to be made for the betterment of it.

Read more:
-Ramsey runs the numbers on state cuts, 12-13 budget
-Tuition increase set for next academic year

Photo/Flickr: ImagesofMoney


UC Riverside students propose alternative tuition repayment plan

By Baylee Pulliam–

Madison Weakley graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in political science, limited job prospects and $16,500 in student loans.

“It’s tough,” said Weakley, who plans on taking a second job to pay down her debt.

Student loan debt reached a national record high of more than $1 trillion and surpassed credit card debt for the first time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

At the University of California Riverside, students unveiled an alternative tuition payment plan in January, which would sidestep federal student loans.

The plan, called Fix UC, would see most students paying 5 percent of their annual salary to the university for their first 20 years of employment after graduation, rather than paying their tuition upfront. Percentages would be slightly higher for out-of-state students and lower for transfer students and for those pursuing careers in the public sector.

The online petition had 197 signatures on Saturday.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average salary in 2009 for bachelor’s degree holders was roughly $45,000, equating to a $2,250 yearly payment or $45,000 total, under the Fix UC proposal.

Deferring payment until after graduation would “increase access to higher education for those who can’t afford to pay upfront,” said U of L’s Dr. Steven Koven.

In-state tuition at the University of California is $12,192, an over 300 percent increase since 2001. The Fix UC proposal chalks it up to slashes in the state’s higher education budget. The University of California “cannot sustain itself through another massive budget cut,” reads the Fix UC proposal.

Cuts aren’t unfamiliar to Kentucky’s colleges and universities. Governor Steve Beshear proposed a 6.4 percent cut to higher education early this year.

Universities in Kentucky will need to explore alternative solutions as the state “continues to lower funding for higher education,” and as tuition increases across the board, said U of L Student Government Association President Kurits Frizzell.

The National Institute for College Access and Success reported graduating college seniors in 2009 carried an average of $25,250 in student loan debt. At U of L, graduating seniors average $22,777 in Stafford loans.

The repayment schedule under Fix UC isn’t so different from some salary-based federal loan repayment options, said Associate Director of Student Financial Aid Michael Abboud.

But when students pay the school directly instead of through loans, they avoid “middleman” interest payments added to their outstanding balance, Koven added.

According to Abboud, the initial payments on the average U of L Stafford loan would come to about $262 per month, making only minimum payments. With interest, the average student would end up paying a total of $31,454 — over $13,000 less than the average student’s total payment under Fix UC.

U of L Vice President of Finance Michael Curtin said the repayment plan outlined Fix UC proposal might be “theoretically possible, but not practical.”

Universities would have to front students’ tuition – at U of L, a source of over $230 million in revenue annually.

There would likely be a short-term lull in revenue, as the plan’s first generation of graduates has its tuition deferred. But Koven said such programs could provide universities with “a future stream of payments that could be sold off for immediate cash or could be retained to build and advance.”
In the interim the university would have to pull from internal funds to meet operation costs, Curtin said. At U of L, those funds “clearly are unavailable,” he said, adding the proposed plan might be more viable for private universities with larger endowments.

To avoid damming the university’s tuition revenue stream, the plan would need to be phased in over four years, said Curtin.

Weakley added universities could have trouble keeping up with students’ payments. “What if they move out of state?” she said.

Kentucky, like California, has seen what U of L President James Ramsey has called a “brain drain,” where the newly-qualified members of the workforce leave the state after graduation. Fix UC aims to keep graduates in state by offering decreased repayment for those who live and work in California.



University to expand student soldier discount

By Bryan Mercke–

Good news is possibly on the horizon for active duty reserve students who currently receive tuition assistance that is offered to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. On Nov. 10, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved a memo from the Department of Defense to expand benefits given to active duty members to also include reserve members as well. While this has been approved by the board, it has not been signed by the University.

The Department of Defense issues education benefits to active duty service members and they issued a memo to many academic institutions to propose an expansion. If this proposal is signed, reserve members of the military will pay $250 per credit hour only if they are receiving tuition assistance. The University of Louisville has been rated in GI Jobs Magazine as military friendly for 2010 and 2011, and if the proposal is signed and implemented for the spring 2012 semester, then it would serve to help the university gain more publicity for its services.

Some students may balk at the idea of these expanded benefits when they notice that their own tuition is going up six percent next semester, but fear not. Under House Bill 425, the University of Louisville is reimbursed for giving active duty service members a discounted $250 per credit hour tuition rate. While some students may be feeling the effects of the changing economy, the Department of Defense is expanding benefits with the hope of improving education and including all active duty service members under benefits provided.

With this expanded proposal is waiting to flow through the University system, it is sure to cause excitement amongst reserve service members, but Kevin Finnegan, Director for Operations and Planning in the Office of Enrollment Management, said “the provost has not signed this yet,” and cautioned against “unrealistic expectations.” Expanding benefits to include active duty reserve members to give them a discount of $250 per credit hour could bring good things to the university. If this proposal is passed, then it can be expected that University of Louisville’s campus will become more diverse, proving that it is committed to creating a well-rounded academic environment.

Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

University of Louisville students walked out of class on Nov. 14, to protest rising tuition costs and student debt.

Students walk out of class to protest rising tuition costs, student debt

By Baylee Pulliam

“Hey hey, ho ho. Tuition hikes have got to go,” chanted Aubrey Higdon, as she marched across the University of Louisville’s Belknap campus Monday afternoon with her daughter.

The march was a part of a student-led walkout, held in conjunction with the social justice advocacy group, Occupy Louisville. U of L students left their classrooms to protest rising student debt, governmental budget cuts to education and university tuition hikes.

A student and parent, Higdon dropped out of college last year, after her tuition at the University of Louisville spiked to roughly $8,400 – an increase of six percentage points.

“Something had to give,” Higdon said. Although she was working a full-time job, she “couldn’t afford to pay that and support [her] daughter,” 19-month-old Myla, who participated in the walkout from her stroller.

Students rallied in the Bingham Humanities Quadrangle, and marched through the Humanities Building, Davidson, Strickler and Frazier Halls, the Ekstrom Library and the Ville Grille.

Student leaders equipped with microphones and bullhorns encouraged walkout participants to chant louder while inside the academic buildings.

“Education is a right, and we need to show [administration] that,” said U of L sophomore pan-African studies major and Occupier, Jeremy Clark, who co-led the march.

The twenty-some participants held signs and chanted, claiming “tuition hikes” had decreased students’ ability to go to college. Some students speculated that the crowd would have been larger, had there been more warning.

Although the event was announced over social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, sophomore exercise science major Nick Reburn said he only found out about the walkout when a fellow student marched out of class.

“I got up and followed him,” Reburn said. “Actually, a few of us did.”

According to the event’s Facebook page, the march was not intended as “an excuse to avoid school work or to offend our professors,” and students would need to be respectful while leaving their classes and make up any class work missed.

The march was followed by a teach-in on social justice held in the Humanities Quad. A related panel discussion titled “Justice in Kentucky” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, in Bingham Humanities room 100.


Photo by Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal