Area university passes tuition hike

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MURRAY, Ky. — Pushing through the pages of a chemistry textbook, Angie Lewis lets out a sigh.

"Instead of hanging out with friends or enjoying the day, I study," she said.

When she isn't studying, the sophomore is working.

"College is all on me," she said.

For Lewis and other students at Murray State University, every dollar counts. University President Dr. Randy Dunn seemed to take them into consideration when addressing the school's Board of Regents Friday morning.

"Our proposal of 3 percent would be an additional $96 a student, per semester," he said during a brief presentation.

That's a move that is necessary to cover a big hit from the state, $3.2 million dollars lost in state appropriations.

Others wanted to see the proposal instead at 4 percent and the increase passed with a 9-1 vote.

"They wanted to do a little bit more than the recommendation, simply to have that flexibility if things do not improve here in the state in the next two to five years," Dunn explained.

Also in an effort to be conservative, Dunn said the school will be looking at re-prioritizing classes and selling more advertising, maybe even digging into the reserve funds.

Still, it means students like Lewis will have to shell out an additional $264 each year.

"It is a lot," she said. "Any increase is a lot."

But Lewis said there is a reason she chose Murray State and a couple hundred dollars does not change it.

"It's the best deal: good price, good value."

Tuition and fee increases over the past few years have been substantial, sometimes reaching double digits. The increase passed Friday was one of the lowest in 15 years.

The Board of Regents also voted for a 4 percent raise in dining fees and a 3 percent raise on housing. A final budget will be presented at their next meeting June 1.

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