Kentucky State University may have to raise tuition as a result of the recent budget cuts in higher education.
"We are concerned about possibly having to raise the tuition, because we have a lot of low income students," KSU interim president Bill Turner said. "But we are looking at all of our options and possible scenarios. We certainly don't want to raise costs for our students, but with state appropriation and tuition and fees, if one is reduced then the other has to increase in order to provide the same services."
Gov. Ernie Fletcher's mandated cuts, in order to balance the budget for the next fiscal year, leaves Kentucky's universities and colleges facing a loss of $24.8 million from the state's general fund and a loss of $45 million in restricted funds, university money from nonstate sources.
"It is unprecedented in terms of taking money from restricted funds on how this kind of thing is usually handled," Turner said. "Everyone is scurrying to help balance the budget, but at the same time no one expected for them to take money from those kinds of funds."
Turner said the cuts will have a harsh impact on KSU.
"KSU stands in a long history of always getting a much smaller share of the state's money, but we are asked to pay the same," he said. "Also, we are an institution with the least resources to be able to handle cuts like this."
Bill Pennell, KSU's chief financial advisor, said KSU stands to lose overall between $700,000 to $1.8 million.
Turner is also concerned how these cuts could affect the school's enrollment, which he said is one of his primary objectives and a loss of funding for the dorms could affect their infrastructure which is in need of repair.
"Dorms, programs, activities, tuition are all things that make college attractive to students," he said. "Also, we will have to put our plans to expand the library on hold."
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.