UAFS tops state list with 18.9 percent cost increase John Brown University’s average net price decreased by 1.3 percent to $19,687, while Ouachita Baptist University’s average net price fell by 1.6 percent to $18,789.
tops list with cost increase of 18.9 percent.
Three of the state’s six largest public universities saw average net price increases of more than $1,000 in 2015-16, according to the most recent federal data updated earlier this month.
Average net price is a calculation that estimates a year’s expenses minus aid, also factoring in costs beyond tuition such as housing and books. The information is published at collegenavigator.gov for first-time, fulltime students getting governmental or institutional aid. For public universities, it includes only students paying in-state tuition.
All six of the state’s largest public universities, as ranked by undergraduate enrollment, had increases to their average net price.
The largest average net price increase was at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, where the estimated true cost of attendance increased by 18.9 percent to $8,858 compared with $7,447 a year earlier.
Judith Hansen, a spokesman for the university, referred to the university’s low tuition compared with other universities in the state. The school’s average net price was the lowest among the six largest public universities.
Brad Sheriff, UAFS’ vice chancellor for finance and administration, said in a statement that the university’s tuition and fees “have had to increase over the years,” noting the school’s roots as a community college.
“Becoming a comprehensive regional university has meant increased funding for improvement to educational resources, for additions to faculty, and for the creation of an entirely different kind of student experience,” Sheriff said, adding that tuition and fees “have had to increase over the years.”
Arkansas Tech University’s average net price increased by 12.4 percent to $10,887 compared with $9,684 a year earlier. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock saw its average net price increase by 10.2 percent to $12,317 from $11,177.
The state’s largest school, UA-Fayetteville, saw a 4.9 percent increase to $15,411; Arkansas State University at Jonesboro’s average net price increased by 3.5 percent to $12,310; and the University of Central Arkansas saw its average net price increase 1.5 percent to $12,988.
Among independent colleges and universities, Harding University in Searcy saw its average net price increase by 4.5 percent to $18,372.
Other private schools saw decreases in average net price, including Hendrix College in Conway, where the estimated true cost of attendance decreased by 8.7 percent to $22,777.
Sam Nichols, vice president for enrollment for Hendrix, said the school in 201516 began offering its Arkansas Advantage aid program to meet the financial need of students who meet certain academic qualifications.
Prospective students “should investigate any college where you think you’re going to be a good fit to see what level of financial resources they have available to make it affordable,” Nichols said, noting the difference between the Hendrix average net price and its “sticker price.” For 2017-18, the college’s published cost of attendance is $60,158.
John Brown University in Siloam Springs and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia also saw lower average net prices for 2015-16 than a year earlier.
John Brown’s average net price decreased by 1.3 percent to $19,687, while Ouachita Baptist’s average net price fell by 1.6 percent to $18,789.