Trustees OK 3.25 percent increase in tuition and fees

The Henderson State University Board of Trustees have approved a 3.25 percent increase in tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

This increase brings tuition for in-state undergraduates to $207 per credit hour, from last year's cost of $199 per credit hour. In-state graduate students will pay $254 per credit hour, up from $246 per credit hour.

This year's increase in tuition is the lowest the university has seen since the 2008-2009 fiscal year, said Henderson President Glen Jones.

"We are sensitive to rising costs for our students and their families," Jones said. "When preparing this budget, we asked university leaders to be judicious in their spending and to be conservative in their requests so we could make our funding go further. We are also working to align our budget to support a strategic plan that is increasingly focused on delivering greater student services and on enhancing our students' success in the classroom and beyond."

In addition to the slight tuition increase, the band fee for Henderson students will increase to 50 cents per credit hour, up from 25 cents. This fee, which has never been increased, will be used to increase the number of scholarships for students in the Showband of Arkansas as well as instrument maintenance and repair.

Henderson's Showband of Arkansas is regarded as one of the country's finest marching bands. It includes 160 students from 27 different majors at Henderson. The increase will allow 200 students to participate.

Planned spending for the 2015-2016 year works toward goals outlined in the university's strategic plan.

"Henderson's faculty and staff are committed to helping our students connect their aspirations with career and life achievements," Jones said. "We also strive to provide a quality, student-focused educational experience that prepares students to be leaders in their communities."

In other business, the board approved the issuing of bonds to fund infrastructure improvements designed to increase student and faculty comfort in their work and learning environments. The board also approved the president's recommendation to renew the campus ban on concealed weapons. Each university in Arkansas must renew its ban each year.