Gov. Hutchinson Requests Tuition Freeze from Universities

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday sent a letter to presidents and chancellors of Arkansas four-year universities requesting a tuition freeze for in-state students during the next academic year. 

In his letter, the governor said during the last decade, Arkansas four-year universities approved in-state tuition increases ranging from a low of 3.03 percent to a high of 6.21 percent. 

“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,” the governor said. 

He also challenged all public two-year colleges in the state to keep tuition increases to the Consumer Price Index or below. 

University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz released the following statement on Hutchinson’s request: 

“Since I became chancellor of the state’s flagship land-grant institution in 2016, I’ve been actively working to eliminate barriers of affordability and access to Arkansans’ ability to obtain a college degree. That’s why I’ve consistently recommended only modest tuition increases for the past two years for in-state students, aiming as Gov. Hutchinson suggests to not exceed the Consumer Price Index of around 3 percent. We welcome and accept the governor’s challenge of holding tuition for in-state students flat for the 2018-19 academic year and will continue to seek ways to improve our efficiency and contain costs. Student success, access and affordability remain among our chief priorities.”

During the 2018 fiscal session, Hutchinson said he’ll be requesting approval for an increase of $10 million in higher education funding from the Arkansas Legislature. 

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