PITTSBURG — The Kansas Board of Regents approved a plan this week to keep undergraduate tuition rates flat for the 2019-20 school year, which had been a goal of officials including Gov. Laura Kelly and Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott.

“I applaud the Kansas Board of Regents and Regents institutions for answering my call to hold undergraduate tuition rates flat. Given that tuition rates shot up an average of 37% since 2011, today’s actions could be the difference in whether some students are able to pursue higher education,” Kelly said in a statement released following the Board of Regents decision Wednesday.

“We need to do all we can to ease the burden of the soaring cost of college for students in Kansas. That’s why it’s necessary to protect the state revenue stream moving forward, so we can continue to invest in higher education, bring down tuition rates, and expand educational opportunities to even more Kansans in the future.”

At PSU, tuition for full-time in-state undergraduate students will stay at $2,847 per semester.

“We’re sensitive to the challenges faced by students and families, and we’re doing all we can to remove the cost barrier to earning a college degree,” Scott said in a university release. “Over a lifetime, a college graduate earns around $1 million more than a non-graduate, and our goal is to ensure everyone in our region has that opportunity.”

Although the University of Kansas, Wichita State University and Emporia State University had requested tuition increases, which the Board of Regents rejected, PSU along with Fort Hays State University recommended months ago that tuition should remain flat.

In addition to not seeing an increase this year, PSU’s full-time undergraduate tuition will also remain flat-rate, meaning full-time students can enroll in additional credit hours without paying more for tuition. Scott pointed out that this opportunity frequently allows students to earn a double major or to graduate early.

“This is a huge cost advantage for any full-time student,” Scott said.

The State Legislature has also been working to reduce higher education costs for students, and Gov. Kelly recently approved a partial restoration of funding that includes $2.1 million for PSU.

“We’re deeply appreciative of the Legislature’s hard work in that area,” Scott said. “And at the same time we are committed to continuing our own efforts to operate efficiently and find savings where we can, and pass those savings along to students and families.”