A new study by the Washington think-tank, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, ranks Kentucky eighth least affordable state in the nation when it comes to the price of a college degree. That's based on the price of tuition, compared to how much people in the state make. The cost is rising, and state government funding for public colleges and universities is falling, based on the report.
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ranks Kentucky eight worst in the nation for college affordability.
- According to the Washington think-tank, the price for a degree is rising, and college funding from state government is falling.
- The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy pushes for increased funding.
Medical student Meghamsh Kanuparthy is schooled in financial burden. There's a high price for his degree he's willing to pay.
"Medical school is very expensive!" Kanuparthy says. He still has about two and a half years to go. "I've known for a long time that I want to be a doctor."
Fortunately, he feels the future will provide a surgeon's salary, for him to repay the six-figures of debt that's building. But, there's a bigger problem, he feels.
"The crushing amount of loans I think is pushing people away from primary care work, where they can really make a much bigger impact," says Kanuparthy.
In a new study, released by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, colleges are raising tuition, the state is providing less public funding, which means students pay more. The study ranks the Bluegrass eighth worst in the nation for college affordability. Is a degree too costly?
"It's very difficult for folks when they do get a degree to go on and buy a house, and make other investments in their communities and just be economically secure. It's a real problem," says Ashley Spalding, analyst with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
The Center for Economic Policy wants state lawmakers to fund schools, using more money from the general fund-- meaning, more public, tax-payer provided dollars. "So students are paying more, paying a lot more, for college. And at the same time, our state financial aid hasn't been increasing. Wages haven't been going up in the state," Spalding says.
Kanuparthy keeps going. He says it's still worth the price for his profession. But he believes something must change to make education more affordable.
"I'm not only taking on debt, I'm losing years where I could be making money, too," he says, adding, "I would consider myself lucky to do all this. I'd consider myself luckier if I didn't have to pay tuition."
To read the full report, click here.
For a look at current tuition costs, click here for information at the University of Louisville and here for the University of Kentucky's information.