Board approves tuition increase of 4.3 percent
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase for every campus in the system at a meeting March 30 in Little Rock, including a 4.3 percent rise for UALR.
The changes will begin with the fall 2012 semester.
For an Arkansas resident taking 15 undergraduate hours per semester, tuition and fees each year will total $7,343. This is an increase from $7,040 during the current academic year. In comparison, the same student would pay $7,553 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the system’s flagship campus.
Tuition and fees differ depending on a student’s course of study and number of credit hours taken.
UA System President Donald Bobbitt said that the increases are due to state appropriations per student not staying consistent. Although state appropriations for higher education in Arkansas rose $3.63 million for the upcoming academic year, according to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the rising enrollment makes the appropriations per student less.
Bobbitt said that the various chancellors in the system plan to focus the additional funds to assist with student retention rates and keeping faculty salaries competitive.
According to a March 31 article in the Arkansas DemocratGazette, Arkansas has an average higher education faculty salary of $61,000, lower than the other 16 states included in the Southern Regional Education Board’s studies. The average salary of the other southern states is about $74,000.
While the tuition increases were approved, the board will vote on campus budgets in May. This will give a more specific idea of how the additional funds will be spent. The meeting will take place May 24 at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in Hot Springs.
The University of Arkansas System consists of six universities: Fayetteville, Little Rock(UALR and UAMS), Pine Bluff, Monticello and Fort Smith; five two-year colleges: Phillips Community College, UA Community College at Morrilton, UA Community College at Batesville, UA Community College at Hope and Cossatot Community College; and six other units: the Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Archeological Survey, Criminal Justice Institute, ASMSA, Clinton School of Public Service and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.