The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) held onto the title of the most affordable university in Arkansas on Tuesday (July 3) following the release of data from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).
For the 2018-2019 school year, a UAFS undergraduate student will pay $166.30 per credit hour, excluding mandatory fees. That means a full-time student can expect to pay $7,128 for the year, a 2.8% increase from the 2017-2018 school year’s $6,935.
UAFS Chancellor Dr. Paul Beran said the university is “proud to be the most affordable university in the state,” adding that “As an institution serving a large portion of first-generation and Pell-eligible students, UAFS recognizes the importance of an affordable, accessible education that will help our students achieve social mobility. Not only are we committed to remaining one of the most affordable universities in the state, we are looking at innovative opportunities and programs to keep costs low for our students moving forward.”
UAFS graduate Josh Simonds, a Sallisaw, Okla. native, said the university’s affordability was a primary factor in his decision to attend.
“I had a relative who went to a big Division I school, and he quickly racked up debt and had to take a long break before coming back. So I knew I didn’t want a big university that would put me in so much debt that I wouldn’t be able to finish my education,” Simonds noted in a statement from UAFS.
Simonds graduated in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in media communication, and, he said, “no student debt” thanks to a combination of scholarships, federal aid, and working while going to school. In the fall, Simonds will attend graduate school at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo.
The next closest to UAFS’s annualized tuition and fees was the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ (UAMS) in-state undergraduate program at $7,537, a 0.7% increase from 2017-2018’s $7,487. At number three, the University of Arkansas-Monticello (UAM) clocked in at $7,696, a 3.1% increase from last year’s $7,462. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB, No. 4) rose 8.7% to $7,842 from last year’s $7,212 figure, while Henderson State University rounded out the top five at $8,436, a 1.5% increase from $8,311 the previous year.
The state’s two most expensive universities were the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (U of A). UALR will cost $9,439 in the 2018-2019 school year, a 5.6% increase over last year’s $8,936, and the U of A will run $9,129, a 0.7% increase over $9,062 the previous year.
The remaining data, which includes two-year colleges and mandatory/non-mandatory fee breakdowns can be accessed via PDF at this link.