High-priced Kansas could lose college students to other Midwestern states

by Stephan Bisaha, Kansas News Service

Kansas could struggle to stop college students from taking their money to other Midwestern states if it continues to charge higher tuition.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced last week it’s offering in-state tuition rates to students from Kansas and cutting rates for 15 other states. The University of Kansas announced plans for a similar move for high-achieving students outside Kansas in December.

Both moves come as college enrollment declines and states struggle to find enough students to fill their public universities. Shifting demographics means the pool of high school graduates is shrinking — particularly in the Midwest.

The extra competition could be trouble for Kansas, with its public universities struggling to match the lower tuition offered by other Midwestern colleges.

Shrinking enrollment numbers are causing schools to fight harder for students beyond their state lines. As a result, students see the barriers to heading out of state for college slowly shrink away.

“It’s extremely competitive,” said Tom Williams with Williams and Company, an enrollment management firm consulting colleges and universities. “Everybody is looking for where there are more college-bound students so the competition for those students is much greater.”

With the exception of academic powerhouses such as Harvard, universities traditionally worked within a local or state market. That slowly began to change over the last decade, as states began cutting their higher education funding.

To make up for budget gaps, universities began looking more for out-of-state students who paid their higher tuition rates. But as enrollment continues to slide, universities have begun reducing out-of-state tuition to fill empty seats.

Years of cuts to higher education funding in Kansas have led to less funding per student and higher tuition costs than universities in neighboring states, with the exception of Colorado.

In December, Kansas Board of Regents president Blake Flanders said he saw signs that tuition at Kansas state school were already at the limits of how high they could go while still being competitive with Kansas’ neighbors.

“There’s not really that much more room to increase tuition without losing students,” Flanders said.

The drop in tax dollars used to subsidize public universities in Kansas could continue, sending tuition higher and tempting more student to go elsewhere.

“Universities are going to have to do more with less again,” said Brett Frazier, chief customer officer at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a consulting firm for enrollment management.

Schools will have to sell students on more than price. Unique academic programs aimed at local needs— such as the engineering programs that feed Wichita’s aviation industry — can help Kansas universities compete.

“I’ve seen over many, many years the ability of Kansas state higher ed to remake itself,” said Frazier, who graduated from the University of Kansas.

The growing competition is a potential boon for students — and for parents footing the bill. While tuition has increased dramatically over the past few decades, recent years have seen tuition hikes slow down.

“It’s a buyer’s market,” said Williams, the consultant. “It’s becoming increasingly rare for a family to actually decide they can’t afford to attend the school they want to.”

Many students may not feel that way, however. Many still struggle to keep pace even with smaller tuition hikes and find their financial aid packages falling short.

The pool of high school graduates continues to shrink. Jerry Lucido, the executive director of the University of Southern California Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice, said universities should look at students in local and underserved communities.

That includes minority and adult populations. At the same time, he said, continued demographic shifts means competition between states will continue to grow.

“It’s only getting started,” Lucido said. “It’s going to continue through 2020 and beyond.”

Stephan Bisaha, based at KMUW in Wichita, is an education reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

See more at http://kcur.org/post/high-priced-kansas-could-lose-college-students-other-midwestern-states.

21 Wyandotte County students named to dean’s honor list at University of Saint Mary

Twenty-one Wyandotte County students were named recently to the fall dean’s honor list at the University of Saint Mary.

The university’s main campus is at Leavenworth, Kansas. It also has an Overland Park, Kansas, campus, and offers online programs.

Those on the list had a grade point average of 3.5 or better. The University of Saint Mary is a Catholic coeducational applied liberal arts university founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.

Students on the honors list from Bonner Springs include:

Bailey Hightower
Miyah Hightower
Darcy Noe
Sayra Serrano-Villegas

Students on the honors list from Kansas City, Kansas, include:

Jenna Asherman
Whittne Ballinger
Samantha Basler
Tiffany Brown
Jessica Carpio
Shelby Groce
Andrew Kump
Abreale Loveall
Alexis Myers
Kendall Nick
Molly Parks
Lydia Paterson
Mary Perez
Andrew Ramirez
Selena Ramirez
Katlyn Randall
Samantha Ricci-Weller
Karina Rodriguez
Francisco Sanchez
Mark Stimach
Nicole Stimetz
Juan Tirado-Garcia

KCKCC honors 90 student-athletes for academic success

Ninety Kansas City Kansas Community College student-athletes and Spirit Squad members were honored for carrying grade point averages of 3.0 or better at Academic Achievement Night Wednesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
KCKCC acting president Dr. Jackie Vietti and Board of Trustees chairman Rosalyn Brown, right, headed a line of trustees and administrators congratulating Lady Blue Devil softball player Aspen Salinas and 89 other student-athletes at Academic Achievement Night. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Ninety Kansas City Kansas Community College student-athletes and cheerleaders were recognized for their success in the classroom at the College’s Annual Academic Achievement Night Wednesday.

Dr. Jackie Vietti, KCKCC acting president, was joined by KCKCC trustees Rosalyn Brown, Linda Sutton, Janice McIntyre, Don Ash and Dr. Ray Daniels in congratulating the honorees. KCKCC administrators Dr. Ed Kramer, interim vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Defina Wilson, vice president of student affairs; Shawn Derritt, dean of student services; and athletic director Tony Tompkins also took part in the recognition.

The student-athletes and Spirit Squad members recognized for carrying a grade point average of 3.0 or better:

BASEBALL – Ethan Baltz, Tyler Pittman, Zachary Watson, Kemper Bednar, Connor White, Brandon Green, Julius King, Max Koeppe, Orlando Ortiz, Rorey Combs, Tucker Foerschler, Adam North, Hunter Paxton, Victor Gotay, Jacob Jackson, Carlos Soto, Brandon Still, Billy Kelley.

MEN’s BASKETBALL – Josiah Laws, Malcolm Tate, Solomon Thomas, Trevon Jefferson, DuVonte Beard.

WOMEN’s BASKETBALL – Lizzie Stark, Kisi Young, Alixandria Wilson, Caroline Hoppock, Camryn Swanson, Gena Ojeda.

GOLF – Robert Armstrong, Jack Flynn, Trevor Bauer, Timothy Wheaton.

MEN’S SOCCER – Matheus Nunes, Carlos Nunez-Dena, Hector Valles, Philip Parmour, Ethan Pfeifer, Reed Axthelm, Guilherme Grave, Frano Buhovac, Gustavo Palmieri, Jackson Jones, Ricardo Gonzalez.

WOMEN’s SOCCER – Mike’e O’Dell, Trinity Rosberg, Itzel Almanza, Serena Ortiz, Ana Suarez, Carmen Rush, Jessica Hill, Shayla Lee, Marisol Rangel, Shaytel Nieto, Madison Plake.

SOFTBALL – Sidney Duval, Paige Hererra, Aspen Salinas, Haley Luna, Brittney Beck, Gracie Gentry, Kaylee Arnzen, Parish Forshey, Kaelyn Davis, Dawsyn Long, Faith Maslak, Jennifer Mullins, Lincoln Schwisow, Shannon Brown, Shannon Greene, Hanna Hurt, Logan Tucker.

VOLLEYBALL – Paige Dresslaer, Yvette Tamez, Jaylie Thornton, Amanda Dickie, Alissia Nevarez, Kelli Sleefe, Erin Reilly, Morgan Schwarz.

SPIRIT SQUAD – Michayla Mikesic, McKayla Ogden, Ian Smith, Mamryee Gordon, Isaah Jeffries, Abby Valasquez, Dreu Demvy, Rhianna Davis and Lante Harrison.