Arkansas State University may raise tuition and fee rates

by George Jared ([email protected]) 242 views 

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees will be asked Thursday (June 8) to raise tuition and fee rates throughout the university system for the 2017-18 school term. Students on the ASU-Jonesboro campus can expect a 3.4% increase if the measure is passed. It means the average full-time student’s tuition and fees will rise to $8,478 per year, and it will rank ASU-Jonesboro fifth in the state, in terms of cost, among Arkansas’ four-year colleges and universities, according to information released by ASU.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on the ASU-Newport campus.

Officials remained mum Wednesday afternoon as to why the increases will be sought. ASU vice-president for strategic communications and economic development Jeff Hankins told Talk Business & Politics that ASU President Chuck Welch will address the increases at the meeting and during interviews with the media afterwards. He did not say if officials were worried if the hikes will cut into enrollment numbers.

ASU-Newport is seeking a 3.6% increase; ASU-MidSouth is seeking a 3.1% increase; ASU-Mountain Home and ASU-Beebe are seeking 1.7% increases. These are the system’s two-year colleges. When asked why the tuition requests were different, Hankins said each had different needs.

“Every campus is independent of the other and budgets differently and has different needs,” Hankins said. “They have never had the same rate changes.”

Trustees will discuss budgets, several resolutions, and will consider a ground/building lease resolution with Centennial Bank for a new student welcome center. Details of the proposed center and the lease agreement were being worked on Tuesday afternoon, Hankins said. More information about the center will be made available Thursday.

ASU approved a 1.9% tuition increase at the Jonesboro campus in June 2016. Tuition and fees were raised 1.8% at the Beebe, Mountain Home and Newport campuses; and 2.4% at the West Memphis campus.

The system had an overall budget of $274 million in 2016-17, according to the Talk Business & Politics archives. About $231.4 million was dedicated to education and general operations and $42.6 million for auxiliary operations.