The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved the tuition increase for its 18 campuses in the U of A System.
Under the plan, the board said tuition would increase by five percent at its flagship campus in Fayetteville.
Breaking down the numbers means the increase tuition would go from its current rate at $7,818 to $8,209. The plan calls for a 6 percent hike at the U of A Fort Smith campus, raising tuition from $5,624 to $5962.
Students at the U of A Little Rock would see a 4.7 percent jump, increasing their tuition from $7,601 to $7,959.
In Monticello, students would see a 5 percent increase, meaning their bill would go from $5,793 to $6,082.
At the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, students would see the lowest increase, at 3.5 percent. Students there would see their tuition go from $5,753 to $5,956.
The university’s two-year colleges would also see similar tuition hikes if the plan goes through.
The additional money would fund a minimum two percent merit raise for the university’s faculty and pay for efforts to improve the graduation rate.
Most students at the Fayetteville campus said they aren’t happy about the possible increase in the cost of their education.
“It’s like we signed a contract with them,” Tyler Hartney said, “And we told them we are going to pay this for tuition, and now in the middle of it they can just raise it. It just doesn’t seem fair to students.”
Divin Divakar is an international student from India. He said he pays over $20,000 a year for being a student outside of the U.S.
“It’s really bad for international students, so I think it will be so hard for us,” Divakar said, “They should at least give us something. It’s college, not a business.”
Meredith Hegedus said she doesn’t want her tuition to increase, but she understands that teachers need raises too.
“To see them benefit from this…it would mean a lot obviously to them and to us, but you just want to be able to see that increase help them and help us in return,” Hegedus said.
The board has been meeting at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope.