Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is currently reviewing plans to include the private University of Pikeville in the state's college system, effectively changing the school into a public institution, reports the Herald-Leader.
The primary goal of the proposal is to reduce tuition at the private school by allowing it to receive federal funding as a public college. Doing so could stimulate both the local and state economy, create jobs, make education more accessible for students and encourage individuals to fill out college applications.
"Universities are economic drivers in their regions, producing well-educated and trained students who are prepared to enter the work force," said Beshear, as quoted by the news source. "However, a thorough review of the advisability and feasibility of including this institution in the state university system is prudent and necessary."
The university currently enrolls more than 1,100 students from 80 counties across Kentucky, in addition to 35 states and 16 countries abroad.
The move could provide students with more opportunities to pursue their academic goals in light of proposed cuts to state funding. According to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, Senator Rand Paul's budget includes cuts of more than $1 billion to education spending, which could have an impact on higher education in the state.
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