- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas State University System is asking its trustees to approval a proposed 1.9 percent increase in tuition and fees at its flagship campus in Jonesboro.

The system board plans to meet in Jonesboro Wednesday to discuss the proposal and other budget matters, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1Uf77gV ) reported. Jonesboro administrators are asking trustees for a $2 increase in tuition to a rate of $202 per credit hour and a new $3 per credit hour deferred-maintenance fee.

If the increases are approved, an in-state undergraduate student taking 30 credit hours during the 2016-17 academic year will pay $8,200, up $150 from $8,050.

“The board and I have both communicated to campuses that we wanted to see tuition and fee increases as minimal as possible,” said Chuck Welch, system president. “We realize that every time that goes up, that’s a further burden for our students and their families.”

The proposed increase is the lowest among its four-year public university peers. The University of Arkansas of Fayetteville increased tuition and fees by 3.5 percent, and the University of Arkansas at Monticello did so by 11.8 percent.

At Jonesboro, Welch said administrators prioritized new revenue for pay increases to faculty and staff members and to start long-term planning for deferred maintenance.

“We always have money for deferred maintenance, but we’ve never had a strategic plan on trying to prepare for the future,” Welch said. “This is more of a shift in terms of our strategy and how we look at it.”


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

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