Black River Technical College contemplates out-of-state student tuition increases

by George Jared ([email protected]) 392 views 

Black River Technical College in Pocahontas may increase its out-of-state student tuition and fees.

At a recently held special Board of Trustees meeting, board member David Coker suggested the issue be studied by the school’s finance committee. The committee is expected to develop a revised tuition scale prior to the scheduled Board of Trustees meeting in May.

An in-state-tuition increase of $5 per semester credit hour, which equals out to approximately $75 per student, was approved at the last board meeting held in February and discussion about out-of-state tuition followed suit this me as well as an increase in the fees structure, including the addition of a new tech fee.

The possible increases may come as the school experienced a 17% drop in enrollment during the spring semester. The law enforcement training academy capped its classes at 45 students. The Registered Nursing Program decided to move away from ARNEC due to concerns about the quality of education and replaced that class with a smaller Practical Nursing course. Financial aid suspensions have increased, a possible side effect of COVID. There has been a decrease in transfer students, and a lack of a paramedic director made it impossible to hold the paramedic course.

School officials estimate that 96% of the drop is due to these factors.

BRTC’s fall headcount, the number of individual students, increased by 13.9%. Student semester credit hours (SSCH), the number by which tuition and fees are calculated, increased by 13.8%. In addition, there were 6.2% more freshmen this year than last.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to formally approve and recognize The Armory at BRTC in Piggott, Hillcrest High School, and Westside High School as additional locations, following Arkansas Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission approval, acknowledging that 50% or more of a certificate or degree program may be offered at these facilities.