- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The University of Arkansas System has asked its trustees for tuition and fee increases for in-state undergraduate students at all of its four-year universities.

Officials are seeking a 3.5 percent tuition and fee increase at the system’s flagship campus in Fayetteville. If approved, the tuition and fee total at the nearly 27,000-student campus will go from more than $8,500 to nearly $8,900 for an in-state undergraduate student taking 30 credit hours over two semesters in the 2016-17 school year. The school’s officials are also looking to increase out-of-state tuition by 6 percent.

Nearly all of the system’s community colleges will also ask for tuition and fee increases for in-state undergraduates, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/20vR0A3 ) reported. The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville wants to increase two fees but keep its tuition rate the same.

The effort to raise the rates falls in line with what other Arkansas schools have done since the Legislature left funding for higher education flat. Higher education leaders have previously said campus costs are increasing and they need more revenue.

University of Central Arkansas trustees approved a 4.25 percent rise in tuition and fees Tuesday, as well as a 4.5 percent increase in room-and-board rates for the upcoming fiscal year. And Arkansas Tech University and Henderson State University boards approved an increase in tuition and fees for their students last week. The Arkansas State University System board is scheduled to set its campuses’ rates June 1.

The University of Arkansas System’s board of trustees will meet Wednesday and Thursday to set tuition and fees for its institutions.

In the meantime, all but one of the system’s schools plans to increase employee salaries.

Spokesman Nate Hinkel said system president Donald Bobbitt believed faculty compensation is an important systemwide problem. Arkansas ranked the lowest among the 16-state members of the Southern Regional Education Board.

“Recruiting and retaining top-notch faculty is getting more difficult and has a direct impact on student success and quality of education,” he said.


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

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