Originally assembled for a presentation to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, these slides provide a basic overview of independent higher education at Kentucky's small, private colleges and universities.
Kentucky's Independent Colleges & Universities: An Overview
Kentucky’s Independent Colleges and Universities
The Association of Independent
Kentucky Colleges and Universities
Gary S. Cox, Ph.D
Kentucky’s 20 independent colleges and
universities: The 10th component of Kentucky’s
postsecondary education system
• 20 independent colleges and universities. All accredited by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Meet the same rigorous quality
standards as KY’s public colleges and universities.
• 30,000+ total students. 75% Kentucky residents.
• Diverse campuses, missions and student bodies. Provide critical choices and
access to postsecondary opportunities. Locations from Pikeville to Mayﬁeld and
beyond via traditional campuses, extended sites, KCTCS and business
partnerships, distance learning, and study abroad.
• Committed to Double the Numbers with sector-wide 2020 goals. Only
independent college association in the country formally committed to statewide
• Regional and local stewards.
20 nonproﬁt, independent colleges and universities
Committed to affordability
• Average tuitions 1/3 less than national private college average and 1/4
less than Southern average. 2008-09 average tuition and fees = $17,256.
• Average annual tuition increases historically between 6-7%. (2009-10
tuition rates are still being announced, but average increase is under
• Working aggressively to control costs through partnerships, greater
efﬁciencies, and innovations.
• Serving high need students. 40% of undergraduates qualify for Pell
• Three-legged student ﬁnancial aid partnership (State Aid + Federal Aid +
Institutional/Private Aid) is working. Institutions are largest source of aid
for students, at about $3 for every $1 provided by Kentucky.
• Timely graduation means quicker entry into workforce or graduate/
professional school; fewer tuition payments and less foregone income.
• Relatively low average debt at graduation.
Collaborating for cost containment
• Several campuses participating in AIKCU
Benefit Trust, self-funded health insurance
• AIKCU has developed nearly 30 active
business partnerships to help hold down costs
for campuses - in everything from technology
to office products to recycling services to
Kentucky’s investment in AIKCU students
is less than 4% of total state postsecondary
AIKCU student aid
All other student aid
Other postsecondary spending
Serve diverse students
• 30,000+ total students. 75% Kentucky residents.
Students from all 120 KY counties, most states,
• 1 in 5 is an adult, or non-traditional student
• Almost 9% are minorities (6.4% African-American)
- essentially the same as KY publics
• 40% receive federal Pell grants
• 31% receive CAP
• 58% receive KTG
• 51% receive KEES
Kentucky’s investment in ﬁnancial aid
to AIKCU students, 2007-08
Total AIKCU Total AIKCU
Program Award Eligibility Purpose AIKCU
• Financial need; tied to
College Access Pell Grant eligibility
$1900 • Assist low income students 5,611 $9,221,125 $1,643
Program (CAP) • At least half-time
• Assist low/moderate income
students attending independent
Kentucky Tuition • Financial need • Recognize cost-effective role
$3000 • Full-time independent independent colleges play in 10,540 $27,959,310 $2,653
Grant (KTG) college student educating Kentucky students by
providing up to 1/2 of per-student
subsidy received by public
Kentucky • Graduate of KY HS or
Educational GED program
• HS GPA of 2.5 or • Reward academic achievement
Excellence $2500 better • Retain Kentuckyʼs best students 9,370 $15,109,502 $1,613
Scholarship • ACT score of 15 or
Source: KHEAA, 12-08
State ﬁnancial aid to independent college
State financial aid to AIKCU students through Kentucky’s “big three” aid programs
(CAP, KTG, and KEES) totaled $52.3 million in 2007-08, up from $11.9 million in
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
KTG CAP KEES
AIKCU institutions are the largest source of aid
for their students. Campuses provide about $3
in aid for every $1 provided by the state.
Average Debt of Graduates, 2007
$8,500 $16,663 $16,963
AIKCU Public Universities
Source: ProjectOnStudentDebt.org. Debt data as reported by campuses to
Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid and Undergraduate Databases.
17 of 20 AIKCU campuses and 7 of 8 Kentucky public university campuses
Return on Kentucky’s Investment
• 22% of Kentucky’s bachelor’s degrees.
• Campuses provide more than $1.1 billion in
• 100,000 alumni in Kentucky generate $4 billion in
annual earnings and $416 million in state tax
• Combined total annual economic impact of more
than $1.4 billion. Responsible for creating more
than 12,000 jobs in Kentucky.
Independent colleges promote timely graduation
Percent of first-time, full-time students who graduate in...
4 years 5 years 6 years
AIKCU KY Public Universities
Source: IPEDS, Fall 2000 GRS Revised Cohort of ﬁrst-time, full-time bachelor’s degree seeking students