Murray State president discusses state of the university, possible tuition increase

The cost to send your child to college is on the rise in the Local 6 area. That trend is likely to continue at Murray State University, and MSU President Robert Davies is expected to address that in his first state of the university speech on Monday.

Davies says state funding has been cut dramatically over the past decade. Murray State has requested half of that funding back but won’t get an answer until Gov.-elect Matt Bevin proposes his new budget. Davies says, with the challenges facing the state, an increase in funding isn’t likely. 

Davies is optimistic about the future of Racer Nation. He says, although times could be tough ahead, the school won’t turn to cutting programs. They’ll just have to find ways to generate more revenue.

"The likelihood of a budget increase for us is low. The likelihood of a budget decrease is there," he said.

Davies says he’s not concerned about the cost of the new buildings on campus, but about the existing infrastructure. Some of it is 80 years and older. He says the money for the new buildings comes from a different source, like public bonds. He says a tuition increase would just keep up current buildings. He’s talking about things like the HVAC system, which was built in the ’30s, and the sewage system. "If we continue to let them go too far, it will cause even more more problems," Davies added.

Although Davies wants to keep student debt low, with 51 percent graduating with no debt, he wants to keep the school’s standard of excellence.

"We are not going to be the cheapest university that you ever talk to, nor should we be." Davies said. "We’re not going to be the most expensive option either."

Davies says Murray State will stay nationally ranked for academic excellence.

Davies says the school is also looking into percentage-based scholarships. Instead of just giving a flat scholarship for four years, a student could get a percentage, so it will adjust to tuition increases. 

Murray State has also raised its admission requirements for freshman entering in fall of 2016. Before, students must have a 15 ACT score or above and meet one of the three requirements: fulfilling pre-college curriculum classes in high school, graduating in the top half of high school class, or having a 3.0 high school GPA. Now, an incoming freshman will need an 18 ACT score or above, in addition to meeting one of those three requirements. 

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