by Lee Hogan
Posted 5/19/2014 11:12 am
Updated 3 months ago
Tuition and fees seem to be on the rise again in Arkansas.
In a two-day meeting at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, the board will look at "modest tuition and fee increases," the university says, to help fund faculty salaries and efforts to improve retention and graduation rates.
The proposal that will be contemplated by the board would provide a minimum 2 percent merit raise for faculty at each of the UA System's institutions and put in place a plan for each of the 18 campuses to target new and existing resources to improve retention and graduation.
If the proposal is approved, tuition and fees for undergraduates at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville would increase from $7,818 to $8,209, a 5 percent increase or $13.03 per credit hour. The increase at the Fayetteville campus would represent the largest dollar amount increase, $391.
At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the rates would increase from $7,601 to $7,959, a 4.7 percent increase or $11.93 per credit hour.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff would see the smallest percent increase, 3.5 percent, which would raise tuition and fees from $5,753 to $5,956, or $6.77 per credit hour.
The largest percent increase, 6.0 percent, would be felt at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. The proposal would raise tuition and fees from $5,624 to $5,962, or $11.27 per credit hour.
"Our institutions have made an effort to keep tuition increases as modest as possible and to focus specifically on the most pressing needs for continuing to provide a high quality education experience to our students across the system," UA System President Donald Bobbitt said in the news release.
Bobbitt will recommend the tuition and fee increases at the meeting, the university says.
"Our faculty have received only small salary increases during the recent economic recovery and we believe we must address this discrepancy so that we can recruit and retain high quality faculty members in order to provide the best possible instruction and mentorship to our students," he said.
The system says its four-year universities are expected to receive a less than 1 percent increase in state appropriations next year, while funding for its two-year colleges will not change.
The board of trustees will meet in the Fulton and Washington Suites at the Hempstead Hall on the UACCH campus. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and continue at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.