Governor asks for voluntary tuition freeze
While it’s unknown if any other state colleges joined the University of Arkansas at Monticello, UAM is ahead of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s curve.
In an open letter sent to the presidents and chancellors of the state’s four-year universities Tuesday, Hutchinson challenged them to freeze in-state tuition at its current levels for the 2018-19 academic year.
According to Jim Brewer, UAM’s Director of Media Services, the local college had already done that. UAM did not raise tuition this year.
Hutchinson announced his request in his address to state legislators who were meeting in a joint budget session in preparation for the 2018 fiscal session, which opens Feb. 12.
“It’s time to give our students a break,” the governor said in his remarks to legislators.
In his letter, Hutchinson acknowledged the efforts of universities to reduce “the cost burden on our students.”
In part, the letter reads, “During the last 10 years, the four-year universities in Arkansas have approved in-state tuition increases ranging from a low of 3.03 percent to a high of 6.21 percent. ... I appreciate the increased emphasis of each institution in improved efficiency and reducing the cost burden on our students.
“Our mutual goal is to serve students to increase the number of credentials earned and in a more efficient and affordable manner. To further the higher education goal of student affordability, I am requesting all of our public universities to hold flat their tuition rates for in-state students for the coming academic year.
“... Controlling costs for students sends a strong message to students, taxpayers and legislators that we are serious about making a college education obtainable for everyone and that our institutions of higher education can be trusted with their investment.”
The governor also is requesting that two-year colleges limit their increases to the Consumer Price Index or below.