A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Freshman enrollment at Kentucky universities remains steady; students want campus experience

Preliminary estimates from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education show that freshman enrollment at public universities has remained largely steady this semester despite COVID-19 and the struggling economy. The initial estimates, released on Tuesday, indicate that 18,373 freshmen enrolled at public, four-year institutions in fall 2020, down only 44 students – or 0.2 percent – from the previous...

CPE study shows dual credit jumps 75 percent; low-income students receive some of biggest benefits

The number of Kentucky high school students enrolling in dual credit courses has soared more than 75 percent in recent years, helping to improve grades and shore up college persistence, particularly among low-income students. Those findings are part of a new report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which measured the impact of dual credit on student success at the state’s public,...

Aaron Thompson: As fall semester begins statewide, student responsibility crucial to campus health

As the fall semester kicks off at colleges and universities across Kentucky, there is still much uncertainty. The spread of the virus is accelerating at exactly the wrong moment, threatening to undo months of planning. The decision to resume in-person operations is truly a Sophie’s choice. There is no perfect solution, and for every person happy with the decision, someone else is not. As president...

CPE president applauds mask requirements; colleges, universities mandate face coverings

President Aaron Thompson, head of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, is praising the widespread efforts on campuses to protect health by requiring face masks in classrooms and at most public gatherings. Kentucky’s public two- and four-year institutions have all implemented policies in recent weeks that will mandate the use of masks during the fall 2020 semester. The policies are consistent...

CPE names 22 students to new advisory panel to offer diverse perspectives on concerns, policies

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education has named 22 college students to a new advisory panel that will offer diverse perspectives on student concerns and policies in higher education. The Student Advisory Group is set to begin this month and continue its work through June 2021. CPE policy leaders hope to glean insights from the group on both high-level issues and matters that may need more...

CPE report predicts strong 10-year growth in health care sector; degree production on pace to meet demand

A new report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) shows that jobs in health care are expected to jump 12 percent during the next decade, expanding at nearly twice the average rate for all other jobs across the state. Meanwhile, Kentucky colleges and universities are on track to meet the demand for health care degrees and other credentials by 2024 following years of steady gains. The...

CPE approves historically low tuition increases for 2020-21; rates a financial win for students

In a financial win for students, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education finalized tuition rates for public universities, preserving college affordability with the smallest average rate increase in decades. The historic move allows resident, undergraduate students to enter the 2020-21 academic year with an average tuition increase of only 0.7 percent. That continues a now four-year trend of...

CPE projects $144M impact on campuses from COVID-19; schools adapting with innovation

New estimates from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) show that COVID-19 has inflicted a staggering financial toll on public colleges and universities, driving unexpected costs and lost revenue at a time when campuses are striving to keep tuition low. CPE President Aaron Thompson provided the numbers to state lawmakers Wednesday in a report to the Interim Budget Review Subcommittee...

Council on Postsecondary Education approves plans to forgo tuition hikes at five state universities

Students at five Kentucky universities will not face any tuition hikes this fall under plans approved Friday by the state Council on Postsecondary Education as part of a strategic effort to maintain college affordability during COVID-19. Public campuses are on track for one of the smallest average increases in tuition in decades, although rates at three state universities remain pending. While the...

Kentucky education groups kick off FAFSA Fridays campaign to raise awareness about federal aid

Kentucky colleges and universities along with key leaders in education launched a new public awareness campaign – called FAFSA Fridays – to remind students about the importance of applying for federal assistance this summer. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form, provides high school seniors, parents, college students and adult learners with a vital opportunity to access financial...

Experienced policy leader Amanda Ellis to head P-20 programs at Council on Postsecondary Education

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education announced Tuesday that Amanda Ellis, a former teacher and accomplished leader in state education policy, will serve as the Council’s new associate vice president for P-20 policy and programs. Ellis joins CPE with more than two decades of experience, including 14 years of service in Kentucky middle and elementary schools. She most recently worked as...

Local public libraries to get free access to Kentucky Virtual Library; CPE partners with KDLA to fund effort

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) announced a partnership Thursday that will provide all state residents with free access to the Kentucky Virtual Library during the upcoming school year. “My administration is education first and this pandemic is demonstrating how we need to further our efforts to provide educational...

Kentucky campuses lead charge on employability; 13 programs certified for integrating essential job skills

Kentucky colleges and universities are helping shape an innovative effort to prepare graduates for careers and strengthen the nexus between higher education and jobs – another step toward economic recovery amid COVID-19. During the past 18 months, more than a dozen college programs in Kentucky serving more than 3,000 students have completed a new and rigorous certification process that requires them...

Education officials urge students to apply for federal financial aid amid decline caused by COVID-19

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence are urging all high school seniors, college students and returning adults to apply for federal aid this year amid a decline in applications due to COVID-19. The number of Kentucky students filing the Free Application for Federal Student...

Aaron Thompson: Amid the uncertainty, Class of 2020, you’ll be better off with a college degree

As the head of public higher education in Kentucky, I’m usually asked to deliver at least one commencement address each May. If I were giving one this year, I’d probably start by offering both my congratulations and condolences. I’m certain you never imagined your high school or college career would come to a close during a global pandemic. I’m sorry that your graduation ceremony had to be...

Council on Postsecondary Education study shows growing demand for engineers in Kentucky

Offering more evidence that higher education matters, the benefits of an engineering degree will continue to climb in Kentucky over the next decade thanks to growing demand in the job market and competitive salaries, a new report shows. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) released the analysis on Monday, projecting that engineering jobs will increase more than 11.2 percent in Kentucky...

CPE seeks students for higher education advisory group; panel to provide insight for policy leaders

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) is seeking a diverse group of students to serve on a new advisory panel that will provide insight to policy leaders on key issues within higher education. The Student Advisory Group will offer input on high-level student concerns along with any matters that may not normally rise to the attention of student government or campus boards. The group...

Two years early, Kentucky’s public universities hit key targets on STEM+H bachelor’s degrees

Kentucky’s public universities chalked up another win for workforce readiness in 2018-19, surpassing a major milestone for bachelor’s degrees in high-demand STEM+H fields – science, technology, engineering, math and health care. The state’s strategic plan, “Stronger by Degrees,” called on universities to produce at least 6,620 STEM+H degrees annually by the 2020-21 academic year. However,...

CPE’s statewide diversity plan driving Kentucky campuses to narrow achievement gap

In a testament to Kentucky’s statewide diversity plan for higher education, colleges and universities across the commonwealth made important strides in 2018-19 in closing the achievement gap for underrepresented minority students. According to the latest progress report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), bachelor’s degrees conferred to minority students at public and private...

CPE makes Kentucky Virtual Library available to all Kentucky students, educators for at-home learning

Amid the challenges of COVID-19, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) announced today that all K-12 students and teachers in Kentucky now have free access to an online portal of educational resources that can support learning and lessons at home. The materials are available through the Kentucky Virtual Library, a consortium of nearly 300 institutions from across the state. Content...