Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What will the KCTCS BuildSmart Initiative accomplish?
A: The KCTCS BuildSmart Initiative will provide funding for the top capital project at each KCTCS college, as requested by the president of each of the colleges. The total scope of the initiative is $194 million for the 16 capital projects.
Q: How will the KCTCS BuildSmart Initiative be funded?
A: The KCTCS BuildSmart Initiative is a public-private partnership. Agency bonds will be issued to pay for 75 percent of the total project scope (i.e., $145.5 million in agency bonds). The remaining 25 percent ($48.5 million) will be matched from private and other funds raised by the KCTCS colleges.
Q: How will debt service on the agency bonds be funded?
A: Debt service will be paid by instituting a mandatory student fee (a capital project fee) of $8 per credit hour for all KCTCS students; $4 in 2014-15 and an additional $4 in 2015-16.
Q: Does KCTCS have other mandatory student fees?
A: No. More than 10 years ago KCTCS streamlined its tuition rates and established a simple per credit hour tuition rate. Since that time, KCTCS has not had any mandatory student fees in addition to the tuition rate.
Q: Does this mandatory student fee increase the cost of education for KCTCS in a meaningful way?
A: No. This mandatory fee is approximately 5.5 percent of the current tuition rate. Recent analysis conducted by CPE staff indicates that on average the out-of-pocket cost for KCTCS students has declined since 2003-04. In fact, in 2011-12 the average out-of-pocket cost for KCTCS students was less than zero. This means that the combination of financial aid and scholarship support for KCTCS students on average is greater than the cost of KCTCS tuition. (See attached charts prepared by CPE staff.)
Q: Since most KCTCS students receive financial aid or other scholarship awards can these funds be used to pay this mandatory student fee?
A: Yes. This mandatory student fee is an educational cost that can be covered by financial aid or scholarship funds.
Q: Why is this initiative necessary?
A: There is substantial unmet need for new construction and renovation projects at all 16 KCTCS colleges. The General Assembly has not approved any state bond-funded projects for KCTCS since 2008 – and that was for only a small additional funding authorization for a previously funded project at one college.
Q: Why is it necessary to use agency bonds?
A: Given the current situation with the State General Fund, the historic model of state-funded bond projects cannot address the unmet capital needs at our colleges.
Q: Why is it necessary to have the 25% match?
A: BuildSmart is a public-private partnership with both public and private benefits. The public aspect of the funding is the student fee-supported agency bonds. The private aspect of the funding is the 25% match to be raised locally to support the projects.
Q: What are the public and private benefits of the KCTCS BuildSmart Initiative?
A: KCTCS students will benefit from having additional state-of-the art facilities and new programs which will further enhance their individual educational experiences while enrolled at a KCTCS college. Local communities and the Commonwealth of Kentucky will benefit from the enhanced economic development and workforce development which will result from these new and renovated facilities.
Q: What will be the impact on jobs and the economy by investing in the KCTCS BuildSmart Initaitive?
A: Below is the data analyzed by economists at Northern Kentucky University on the economic impact that will be generated by the construction of the 16 projects outlined inKCTCS BuildSmart:
KCTCS Agency Bond Captial Investment Economic Impact Summary