The Effects of KCTCS Tuition Freeze on Enrollment and Revenue: CBER Research Project 2008

Grants and Contracts Details


Since 2000 tuition for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has doubled. Although enrolled has also increased over the same period, there are concerns that this tuition increase has reduced access to post-secondary institutions at a time when post-secondary education is crucial for success in the labor market. Several researchers and policy makers have had similar concerns about increased tuition leading to decreased access throughout the United States. One policy lever often suggested as a solution is to decrease or freeze tuition levels. Kentucky is also considering such a freeze for KCTCS, although the effects of such a freeze have not been studied for Kentucky. This proposal will study the predicted changes to revenue and enrollment if KCTCS tuition for the 2008-2009 year were to remain at the current level, (2007-2008 year). The analysis will begin with a review of research on the relationship between tuition and enrollment and retention, what economists call own price elasticity. We will focus solely on the literature of own price elasticities at two-year colleges. From this analysis, we will develop an estimate of the own price elasticity. Our best estimate may be a range rather than a single number if other researchers have not reached consensus on the size of the relationship. An integral element to studying the effects of a tuition freeze is the tuition level in the absence of a freeze. This number is the counterfactual scenario to which we will compare the tuition freeze scenario. We will work with officials at the Council on Post- Secondary Education (CPE) and at KCTCS to determine the level of tuition in the absence of a tuition freeze.
Effective start/end date2/11/086/30/08


  • KY Council on Postsecondary Education: $19,648.00


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