Making KU affordable
  • Home
  • Costs
  • Tuition compact

Tuition compact

The compact offers first-time freshmen the opportunity to choose a fixed tuition rate for four full years, the amount of time it takes to complete a bachelor's degree.

Match that four-year promise with KU's four-year renewable scholarship program offering millions each year in scholarships for undergraduate students and you have a plan for making college affordable. Enjoy the peace of mind these programs offer so you can focus on your studies and your future career. 

FAQs

Who participates?
All first-time, degree-seeking freshmen have the opportunity to opt-in to the tuition compact. A first-time freshman is a student who starts at KU immediately after graduating from high school or has never attended another college or postsecondary institution. Students who graduate from high school are first-time freshmen, regardless of the number of college or advanced placement credits earned. New international students who enter KU as first-time freshmen will be invited to participate in the compact. All eligible students will receive emails with more information about the four-year tuition compact and how to opt-in.
How does it work?

First-year freshmen that choose to opt-in to the four-year tuition compact will pay a fixed tuition rate, which will remain in effect for the first four years that the student is enrolled. All eligible students will receive emails with more information about the four-year tuition compact and how to opt-in. Students in certain academic programs will pay additional course fees, but these will also be set four years in advance.

Students also pay campus fees which are set by the Student Senate and support student services and activities such as the health services center, the recreation and fitness center and the bus system.

Why does it expire in four years?
Almost all KU bachelor's degree programs take four years to complete if a student takes an average of 16 hours a semester. KU encourages students to maintain a rigorous academic schedule and graduate in four years.
What happens after four years?
After the tuition compact expires, students will pay the standard tuition rate in effect at that time.
Is there a maximum or minimum number of hours in which a student may enroll?
No. The fixed tuition rate is in effect for four years no matter how many courses a student takes.
Does it include summer session classes?
Yes. It is in effect for the first four calendar years at KU no matter how many semesters the student enrolls in.
Is the four-year tuition compact rate the same for Kansas residents and nonresidents?
No. Both fixed and standard tuition rates have resident and nonresident levels. See tuition rates.
What happens if a student leaves KU during the four-year period and comes back later?
Such a student will continue to pay the same tuition compact rate. For example, a student enters KU in August 2011 but withdraws the following year. If that student re-enters KU in fall 2013, s/he will pay the 2011 freshman fixed tuition rate until it expires in July 2016.
What if a student participates in a full-time internship for a semester or a study abroad program?

The clock does not stop if the student leaves campus. The student continues to pay the fixed tuition rate for four years.

Note: Participation in an internship or study abroad program does not prevent students from graduating within four years. In fact, students who study abroad while at KU have higher four-year graduation rates.

Are there any exceptions to the four-year rule?

Students who need to leave KU for extenuating circumstances will continue to pay the fixed tuition rate if they re-enroll. Their fixed tuition rate will be extended beyond its normal expiration date for a period matching the student's absence.

The University Registrar must verify any extenuating circumstances such as military service or emergency medical conditions.

What if a student is in a five-year or six-year academic program?

Of all undergraduate programs at KU, only four are designed to take longer than four years to complete. They are:

  • Architectural engineering
  • Industrial design
  • Music therapy
  • Visual arts education
What about students planning to enter the School of Pharmacy?

In 2010, KU implemented a fixed-rate, guaranteed tuition rate, beginning with those students entering the Pharm. D. program in fall 2010 (Pharm. D. class of 2014). The fixed-rate, guaranteed tuition for the four-year Pharm. D. program includes 100 percent of all tuition and fee-related charges: tuition, course fees, and campus fees. A new four-year rate will be set for each new incoming Pharm. D. class. That annual rate would remain unchanged for the four years of the Pharm. D. program.

A survey of Schools of Pharmacy in the Big 12 and selected schools in surrounding states shows that KU tuition and fees for first year resident Pharm. D. students are the very lowest in the group, while KU's National Institutes of Health ranking is the best and second highest nationwide.

Do other Kansas universities offer four-year, fixed rate tuition?
No. KU is the only college or university in Kansas that makes this unprecedented commitment to students and their families. The plan was developed in response to KU student leadership's request for a tuition plan that would enable students and their families to plan and budget for college expenses.

Glossary

First-Time Freshman

Also referred to as a new freshman, this is a student who starts at KU immediately after graduating from high school or has never attended another college or postsecondary institution. Students who graduate from high school in spring and enroll at KU for fall of the same calendar year are first-time freshmen, regardless of the number of college or advanced placement credits earned.

Standard Tuition Rates

These are the per-credit-hour rates that all KU resident and nonresident students will pay. Since standard tuition rates are set annually by the Kansas Board of Regents, future standard tuition rates are unknown.

Compact Tuition Rates

Compact Tuition is available as an option to first-time, degree seeking freshmen (both resident and non-resident). This tuition has the same rate for four years starting freshman year and is designed to provide financial predictability, account for future inflation and increases in tuition. Therefore it is higher at the onset because it is an average of what the university anticipates four years at KU will cost.

Required Campus Fees

These are campus fees, approved by and paid by all students, to support services and programs on campus, such as health, recreation, transportation and student activities.

Course Fees

Course Fees are an additional per-credit-hour charge that varies by school within the university to support academic programs and instruction in that specific school.

Questions About Financial Aid?

Finacial First Aid Graphic

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
KU Today