TOPEKA — The cost of room and board at Kansas' public universities is inching up, even as tuition increases and state funding for higher education drops.
The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday tentatively approved increases in the cost of campus housing and cafeterias. A final vote is expected next month.
For a typical student at the University of Kansas, room and board would go up 2.6 percent, to $6,982. For a typical student at Kansas State University, it would go up 3 percent, to $6,954.
University officials said the increases were driven by inflation and the cost of maintenance.
The regents acknowledged the need for the higher rates, but regent Gary Sherrer said he worries the state is making higher education too expensive during a recession. The regents voted to raise tuition earlier this year because of state budget cuts.
"We are not in ordinary times," Sherrer said. "In these difficult times, we (the universities) should ratchet down when we can to give students a break."
University officials noted that the costs are still lower than the regional average. According to a national report, this year's average room and board at four-year public universities in the Midwest is $7,511.
The new rates would go into effect for the summer 2011 semester at most of the state's public universities.