Bill could freeze college tuition in Kentucky

Lexington Souers

As tuition nears its deadline, a Kentucky senator is hoping to keep the amount students pay the same.

Sen. Dan Seum is sponsoring Senate Bill 75, which would freeze college tuition at its current rate. Seum said if the bill passes it would not affect current students or out-of-state students.

Seum said the success of the bill is dependent on students and parents showing up to the hearing. There is not a set date, but it should be in the next few weeks.

“Kids need to get in the game,” Seum said. “I would love to see a march on the Capitol.”

Without outside support, Seum said the bill will not garner the attention it needs to pass.

“I’ve been watching a lot of the protests in different states over the years that are hard to understand,” Seum said. “But everyone understands this issue, and I’ve often wondered why there haven’t been more students protesting.”

Public policy professor Eugenia Toma said a tuition freeze would lead to tighter budgets for universities.

“If the state cuts the amount of funding and the schools can’t raise tuition, universities will have to be even more creative in finding alternative revenue sources, or they have to cut something,” Toma said.

Assets like federal grant funding would not be affected, but there would be tighter budgets. In that situation, the universities’ ability to provide high quality education may be hindered.

Toma said tighter budgets could mean that some faculty members are let go, or that classes will be larger.

Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Maine have frozen tuition in one way or another, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts article. Since the legislation in many of these states was passed recently, there is no way to see what the benefits or repercussions might be.