- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

HOPE, Ark. (AP) - Citing a reduction in state funding and rising utility costs, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees has approved tuition increases at its campuses throughout the state for next school year.

The system’s board of trustees unanimously approved the increases Wednesday, along with budgets that allow 2 percent merit increases for faculty.

The largest jump will come at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, where students will see a 6 percent increase. Part of that increase includes a student-imposed fee of $5 per credit hour to fund a new wellness and recreation center.

Students at the Fayetteville campus will see a 5 percent increase. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1j9XzkC ), a student taking 30 credit hours over two semesters will pay an extra $391 in 2014-2015. Tuition at UA-Monticello will go up 5 percent, while students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will pay 3.5 percent more.

The increases were approved with little discussion Wednesday - a departure from last year’s debate on tuition that lasted for hours.

“Last year we were still here at 8 p.m.,” board chairman Jim von Gremp said.

UA System President Donald Bobbitt said the tuition increase is needed because of reductions in state funding and rising utility costs. Most four-year UA institutions will receive increases of less than 1 percent in state funding, with two-year colleges to remain stagnant, he said.

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

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