UCA Trustees Approve 3.86 Percent Increase to Tuition, Fees

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved a 3.86 percent increase for tuition and fees in the next academic year.

The increase means undergraduates enrolled in 30 hours will now pay $7,888.80 compared to $7,595.40 in the current year. Per credit hour, students will pay $9.78 more. Included in the hike is a $5.75 per credit hour increase to the hourly tuition rate, in addition to the increase of two student fees.

UCA trustees approved a 3.71 percent increase for graduate students. That means those students will pay $7.08 more per credit hour, which would make the hourly tuition rate $243.04.

Based on UCA enrollment numbers from the previous year, the increase will create $1.6 million in additional revenue and help fund a 2 percent "cost-of-living adjustment" for all faculty and non-faculty members. Faculty members will also receive a raise from an additional pool of $250,000.

The board also approved a 53-cent per credit hour increase to the Student Activities Board fee. With the approved increase, the fee will cost students $1.59 per credit hour and provide about $146,810 a year. Those funds will go toward expanded offerings and a "better quality of student experiences," the university said.

The board also approved an operating budget of $173.8 million for the next fiscal year. The approved budget is a 4.5 is $5.9 million, or a 3.55 percent increase, more than the current budget.

Lewis Science Center Project

On Friday, the board also approved the issuance of bonds to finance the design and construction of the Lewis Science Center add-on.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved an economic feasibility's findings of the bond financing at a meeting in April. The study found the bond amount should not exceed $13.5 million and an interest rate of 5.75 percent. UCA trustees approved the issuance of Capital Improvement Bonds on Friday with those stipulations.

The board approved a $3.50 per credit hour increase to the student facility fee in February, which will fund the bonds for the $17.5 million project.

The university received submissions from 11 firms for the Lewis Science Center project. CDI Contractors has been recommended by a board committee for the project. The contract, which includes a negotiated rate of 4.5 percent and an additional $112,800 for a reconstruction fee, will be reviewed by the legislative council in June.