UCA Proposes 3.86 Percent Increase to Tuition, Fees

The University of Central Arkansas has proposed a 3.86 percent increase to its tuition and fees for the next academic school year.

If approved at the university's board meeting Friday, it would mean all five of the state's largest universities would have increased rates for the 2014-15 academic year.

More: Read the agenda for Friday's board meeting here (PDF).

At UCA, the increase would mean undergraduates enrolled in 30 hours would pay $7,888.80 compared to $7,595.40 in the current year. By the hour, undergraduates would pay $9.78 more per credit hour, raising the hourly tuition rate to $197.25.

For graduate students, rates would increase $7.08 per credit hour to an hourly rate of $243.04.

The university says the tuition hike reflects a 3 percent increase that would create an additional $1.6 million in revenue for the operating budget, based on UCA enrollment numbers from the previous year.

That additional revenue will be applied to a 2 percent "cost-of-living adjustment" for all faculty and non-faculty members. Faculty will also receive raises from an additional pool of $250,000.

Also proposed is an increase to the Student Activities Board fee. The fee is currently $1.06 per credit hour. The proposal would raise the fee $0.53 per hour to $1.59.

If approved, the increase would generate about $146,810 annually that would be used to "expand offerings and provide a better quality of student experiences."

In February, UCA trustees approved a $3.50 per credit hour increase to the student facility fee to fund bonds for the $17.5 million Lewis Science Center project that will add about 50,000-SF to the facility. Trustees also approved a 4.5 percent increase in room and board rates, meaning students will pay an additional $124 per semester.

On Friday, UCA trustees will also vote on the operating budget for the next fiscal year. The proposed budget is $173.8 million, which is more than $5.9 million, or a 3.55 percent increase, over the current budget.

In recent weeks, Arkansas' four other major universities have approved tuition and fee increases for the 2014-15 year.

Below is a list of the approved undergraduate rates for the University of Arkansas campuses at Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas State University and Arkansas Tech University, in addition to the proposed undergraduate rates for the University of Central Arkansas.

School  2014-15 (30 hrs)  2013-14 (30 hrs)
Arkansas Tech University               $7,248               $6,918
Arkansas State University               $7,720               $7,510
University of Central Arkansas               $7,888*               $7,595
University of Arkansas at Little Rock               $7,959               $7,601
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville               $8,209               $7,818

*Proposed Rates