January 22, 2016

Kentucky state senator proposes tuition freeze bill

KY Rep. Dan Seum

By Andrew Hebert–

As temperatures across the Bluegrass plummet toward zero, a different type of freeze is being discussed in Frankfort.

Representative Dan Seum from Louisville is attempting to help the financial strain of college in Kentucky with his proposed tuition freeze. Seum has proposed legislation that would keep tuition the same amount for eight years in all public universities in Kentucky.

Currently, state universities are allowed to raise tuition eight percent over two years without raising it more than five percent any given year. U of L maximized this by raising tuition five percent in 2014 and three percent for 2015.

With budget cuts coming every year from Frankfort, most public universities have been forced to raise tuition every year in a similar manner, burdening students across the state with more expenses.

“It borders on criminal what these universities are doing to these kids,” said Seum.

Tuition at public universities in the state has risen for more than 15 years. 2015 was the first year U of L did not receive a state funding cut.

While a tuition freeze could prove beneficial for student’s pockets, the effects on universities could prove more negative. The state budget has decreased funds for public universities every year since 2008 – many people argue this creates an environment where tuition has to be raised in order to advance as a university.

“We understand the financial burden that tuition can impose on students and their families, and we work hard every day to provide our students with the best education possible at the lowest tuition cost possible,” said U of L spokesman, John Karman.

The tuition freeze will face tough opposition during the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly, according to Seum.

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