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Fort Hays gets good marks on scorecard

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Students shopping for a good buy in higher education can access college scorecards in the U.S. Department of Education's Affordability and Transparency Center through a link on the White House website.

The scorecard includes costs, graduation rate, loan default and median borrowing.

The Fort Hays State University college scorecard shows 40.2 percent of full-time students receive their bachelor's degree within six years. At Emporia State University, the number is 42.7 percent, and 48.6 percent at Pitt State.

FHSU President Edward H. Hammond said in tracking graduation rates, it's important to note how many still are enrolled until that six-year mark.

The loan default rate at FHSU is 7.3 percent compared to 13.4 percent nationally. A total of $13,228 in federal loans is typical for FHSU undergraduate study. The loan payment through 10 years for that amount is $152.23 per month, according to the website.

The website lists the typical cost to attend FHSU as $10,549, an increase of 12.2 percent from 2007 to 2009.

That number seems high, Hammond said.

"They're using old data," he said.

According to information on the Kansas Board of Regents website, tuition and fees for the 2013 academic year are $2,116 at FHSU, $2,636 at ESU and $2,747 at Pitt State.

It costs $7,003 for double-occupancy open access in McMindes and Wiest residence halls per academic year. For a room and no meal plan, the cost is $3,475. A suite at Tiger Place is $8,028, and room only for $4,500.

The cost for a double room in a Pitt State residence hall is $6,538 for an academic year.

"We are clearly the best buy in the state," Hammond said. "Pittsburg and Emporia tuition and fees cost $500 more per semester. That's $4,000 over four years."

Costs at the larger state schools, Kansas State and the University of Kansas, are even higher.

Hammond said one prospective student told him coming to FHSU rather than KU was "like giving myself a $5,000 scholarship a year."