higher education

Courtesy Pratt Community College

Students who complete an associate’s degree at Pratt Community College that prepares them to become electrical linemen earn just under $100,000 annually five years after graduation, according to a massive database now available online as an interactive tool. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

The cost of higher education in Kansas continued to swell last week, carrying on a long-running trend in which universities rely increasingly on tuition and fees to operate.

This fall, a full-time semester at the University of Kansas will cost nearly $2,000 more than a decade earlier. The increase at Kansas State University has been similar.

Also over the last decade, the state’s spending per student at Kansas Board of Regents universities has slid.

kansasregents.org

The Kansas Board of Regents will vote Thursday on how much to hike tuition at state universities next year.

The six regent schools’ requests range between 2.5 and 3 percent, less than recent years. Wichita State University is requesting a 2.5 percent increase.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said during discussions Wednesday that the 2.5 percent increase her campus is asking for is barely above inflation.

“There was definitely a focus on making the tuition increase a modest one," she said.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to restore some funding to higher education. Cuts were made to state colleges and universities earlier this fiscal year.

Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed adding millions of dollars in the coming two years to a state scholarship fund. As part of the Senate budget plan, the new money would instead be diverted and used to restore some funding to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback says Cowley County Community College is responding to his challenge to offer a four-year degree for just $15,000. Students who enroll would start their education at the community college before moving to Fort Hays State University. Eligible degrees are in the areas of education and technology.

Brownback made the challenge in the State of the State Address and announced the new degree plan Friday. He says the state has an interest in providing an alternative to more expensive college degrees.

kansasregents.org

Kansas higher education officials say in three years, the state needs thousands more students graduating college. Today, the Board of Regents will take a step towards that goal.

Right now about 40,000 students in Kansas are awarded a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree or some kind of certification each year.

That number, the state says, needs to bump up to 53,000. To meet the need of businesses in the state, 40 percent will need to be four-year degrees, and the rest will need to be two-year degrees or certificates.

Michael Long, flickr Creative Commons

In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback threw down a gauntlet for state universities: Come up with a $15,000 bachelor's degree. In the education world, almost nobody saw that coming.

But now that the idea for a bargain bachelor's is out there, it's up to the Kansas Board of Regents to try and make it a reality.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Legislators from south-central Kansas gathered Thursday at Wichita State University for a public forum, the second one this week.

The forum began with a look at the state's projected $350 million budget shortfall for this fiscal year.

J.G. Scott, assistant director of fiscal affairs for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, told lawmakers that neither reversing the state's income tax exemptions nor increasing sales tax rates would fill the hole for 2017.

He gave two options for balancing the budget.

The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas

The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas is launching a new job-training program that’s designed to get more people into the advanced manufacturing industry.

The Workforce Alliance is coordinating a tuition-free training program that’s expected to start next spring. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $6 million grant for the project.

Students at Wichita State University, Hutchinson Community College and Wichita Area Technical College will be able to get paid on-the-job training at area manufacturers in addition to their classroom education.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved Wichita State University’s proposal to offer in-state tuition to students from the Kansas City, Missouri, metro area.

The university already offers in-state benefits to students from certain areas in Oklahoma and Texas as a way to boost overall enrollment and develop economic relationships in those areas.

At the board's meeting Wednesday, WSU President John Bardo said the tuition break has helped boost the number of students coming from those states.

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