The Board of Trustees voted May 5 to raise several student fees – general, hourly and withdrawal charges.
General registration and out-of-state fees increased 4.3 percent, raising the current registration fee by $97.50 for in-state students.
Sophomore Steve Sparks said he sees tuition and fee increases as a continuing problem.
“They raise tuition and then try to raise financial aid to help cover it, but eventually it won’t,” Sparks said. “I have to work a lot and then take summer classes, so there is no time left.”
Beginning this semester, newly enrolled students will pay by the hour even if their workload surpasses 15 credit hours per semester. In the past 15 hours was the maximum number of hours for which students could be charged within each semester. Students paid a flat rate for hours beyond 15.
Provost and Dean of Faculty Gabriel Esteban said he sees tuition and fee increases as a way to align costs with those of processing.
“Normally our offices receive a recommendation for an increase in fees from an academic unit or department,” Esteban said.”In some instances students were registering in classes with no intention of finishing. We looked at what our sister institutions were charging. The cost processing has gone up while fees have stayed the same.”
Freshman Chauncey Holloman doesn’t feel affected by the price increases but sees how it could be a burden for others.
“It doesn’t really affect me because of a scholarship I am grateful to have,” Holloman said. “But I feel bad for my friends and other people who have to come up with the money. My mom is 36 and still paying off student loans.”
Board members also voted to increase the withdrawal fee from $20 to $40 and raise the drop/add cost from $5 to $10.
“One of the reasons behind the withdrawal fee is that some students would withdraw in the middle of the semester and cause paperwork for many sections of UCA’s administration,” Vice President of Finance Paul McLendon said. “They held up class space that other students could have used. Students overload with classes, holding up space, and then drop. It would then be unavailable to those students who might need it to get their degree.”
According to McLendon the increase is not only fair but necessary to help with office work involved in processing a withdrawal.
“The Board of Trustees approved this increase because it was felt that the fees should be increased to accommodate the workload that offices such as Student Accounts as well as others would have to bear in processing the withdrawn students’ paperwork,” McLendon said.