University of Arkansas approves tuition hike at most schools

Local In AR
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The University of Arkansas’ board of trustees has voted to increase tuition or fees at virtually every campus in the school’s system.

Trustees approved raising tuition and fees Thursday at a rate lower than 3% at four of the five four-year universities, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The decision comes after three other Arkansas public universities boosted tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. A year earlier, all Arkansas public colleges and universities had frozen tuition prices at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request.

Only two institutions in the UA system won’t increase tuition — the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville and the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. But the system’s Little Rock campus will boost fees by around 3%, while the Batesville college’s fees will remain the same.

UALR’s tuition freeze is notable as the school faces a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall in the forthcoming year. The university elected to keep tuition at its existing level, hoping it will boost enrollment and tuition revenue.

After the vote, UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson thanked the trustee board for letting the school operate with a deficit while it pursues its enrollment and retention initiatives. Rogerson added that the budgeting process is a time of “self-imposed inquiry.”

“The way forward for us has been to frame this process as a wake-up call at a campus slow to change,” he said.

In the fall, there were 10,525 students reportedly enrolled at UALR, down from more than 13,000 students several years ago.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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