Board of Trustees to vote on budget

By Joshua Qualls

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UK’s budget for the upcoming school year is expected to be $3.4 billion.

Though UK’s Board of Trustees has already approved increases in tuition, it will meet on June 19 to vote on the rest of the plan’s proposals.

In the plan, 21 percent of the budget is paid for by undesignated general funds that primarily come from tuition and state appropriations. Tuition’s share of the available public funds in the budget has increased from 38 percent to 61 percent over the last decade while state appropriations went from 62 to 39 percent.

Tuition now makes up $439.7 million of the undesignated general funds after tuition increases from last year, as well as increases in enrollment.

Out of a student body of now over 30,000 students, 5,250 new students — the largest-ever incoming class — are expected to arrive at UK in the Fall 2015 semester. Thirty-seven percent of these new students will come from out-of-state.

The cost of attendance for in-state students is estimated to increase by three percent to $26,700, while it is estimated to increase by six percent to $40,000 for out-of-state students. Additionally, UK has budgeted $103 million to pay out its share of financial aid and institutional scholarships.

UK HealthCare revenue increased by 18.2 percent from the 2014-2015 school year; as a result, the plan calls for UK HealthCare to handle 41 percent of the university’s operational costs as designated general funds. These funds help to pay for public service, instruction, student services and academic support.

The budget plan also proposes a starting wage increase to $10 per hour for new faculty and staff employees, and a merit-based system that will increase salaries for existing employees by 3.5 percent. This initiative would cost $15.9 million.

The end of the plan shows how the $76.2 million in debt service for ongoing construction projects would factor into the budget for the upcoming year. The debt service pays toward the expansion and renovation of many buildings on campus, as well as new residence halls and the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.