WEST MEMPHIS, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees met in West Memphis at ASU-Mid South to discuss several issues including tuition and fees at their campuses.
By the end of the meeting, the trustees approved all of the ASU System motions, including tuition and fee changes.
ASU System President Dr. Chuck Welch said in-state tuition at all of the system's campuses will remain the same per Gov. Asa Hutchinson's request this year.
"We felt that was important in recognition of the governor's new money he put towards higher education and trying to keep higher education affordable and accessible and I'm proud of our campuses for responding to that call," Welch said.
However, A-State Jonesboro will see a fee increase for a total of 1.53%.
That includes adding a $4 per credit hour security fee, increase the academic excellence fee for faculty salaries by $1 and eliminate a $40 annual yearbook fee.
ASU-Beebe will add $1 per credit hour for security and $1 per credit hour for infrastructure.
ASU-Mountain Home and ASU-Newport will add $1 per credit hour for security.
ASU-Mid South is the only campus that has absolutely no increase in fees or tuition.
Dr. Welch said the increased safety fees stem from student concerns.
About a year ago, a group of student representatives asked to walk around campus at night with administrators to point out potential issues.
"That resulted in a number of recommendations that came from the student government association regarding concerns about safety on campus," Welch said. "So the result is with these fees we are going to implement those measures to keep our students safe."
Officials also approved a proposed tuition increase for out-of-state and international undergraduate students at the Jonesboro campus by $195 to $6,495 per semester. Also approved, an increase in tuition for distance learning out-of-state undergraduates, academic partnership courses, and out-of-state undergraduates at the Paragould campus.
"Obviously that's something that happens," Welch said. "Our Heron [efficiency] study showed that our out-of-state rates were actually much lower than what a lot of our peer institutions were and we wanted to try and make that to where we were in line more with those. Certainly, first and foremost is to make sure we keep it as low as possible for our Arkansas residents."
Dr. Welch also pointed out that despite being the second-largest public university, A-State will have only the sixth-highest cost in the state.
Here is a list of all the approved proposals and other items discussed at the meeting: