WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – During his State of the State address Tuesday night, Governor Brownback issued a challenge to Kansas universities offer a bachelor’s degree program for $15,000 or less.
Many are asking the Kansas Board of Regents, is that possible?
“Really the only way to do this is going to be a multi institution system response,” explains Breeze Richardson, Director of Communications, KBOR.
It means that it would most likely have to be a collaborative program, including online learning.
“They’re often referred to as two plus two programs, because you do two years at a community or technical college and then you go on and do the last two years at a state university,” states Richardson.
KSN took a look at tuition at state universities and broke it all down.
The cost of just tuition for a traditional 124 credit hour bachelor’s degree at a Fort Hays State University is $20,000. A traditional bachelor’s at Wichita State, averages about $26,000, and at KU, you’re looking at $40,000, all of that is without fees. Add in anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000 in room and board, along with up to $2,000 in books, and the likelihood of a $15,000 education seems like a pipe dream to some.
“It doesn’t really seem realistic. I’m kind of thinking, like what is that all going to include? What kind of quality education am I really going to be getting from the $15,000?” asks Savannah Harper, a junior at Wichita State.
Richardson does tell KSN that the $15,000 degree wouldn’t be in just any field. It will be one that has been deemed in high demand by the board of regents.
“It might not end up being $15,000. I think that that’s a great challenge, and I think it’s very gracious that the governor has framed it as a challenge and we’re up for it,” says Richardson.
Brownback said the first university to offer a bachelor’s degree option for $15,000 will receive 50 scholarships for students.