College students voice support for AR tuition freeze

College students voice support for AR tuition freeze
(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)

ARKANSAS (KSLA) - Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson wants saving college students money to be one of the big items in his $5.6 billion budget proposal.

It's something students and school administrators at two college campuses are getting behind.

Machaela Roberson is a freshman at the University of Arkansas at Hope.

She tells KSLA News 12 tuition fees at the school are the main reason for selecting the University.

"U of A has the lowest tuition and fees in the state of Arkansas and that is a big plus because you save money while getting a good education," said Robertson.

For Robertson and other students attending colleges in the state of Arkansas, Gov. Hutchinson is wanting to keep tuition fees down by putting a freeze on tuition rates for in-state residents.

This is good news for leaders at the University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana.

Chancellor Chris Thomason said his campus already has the lowest tuition rate for two-year institutions in the state.

"We have always recognized that the number one barrier for students in our area, no matter they are traditional or non-tradition students, the number one barrier for them all has been cost.," said Thomason.

Morgan Peek is a sophomore at the university and says cost was also an important factor in selecting a college for higher education.

"It was important to me that I was not going to pay off student loans in my 20's or 30's," said Peek.

The tuition freeze is aimed at both two and four-year colleges.

"We are proud to join the governor and the continued leadership of our president and the University of Arkansas system board in holding to the affordability of a world-class education," said Thomason.

Since lawmakers don't directly control tuition, the governor is merely asking the colleges to freeze tuition since it's up to each colleges' board.

The governor cites an increase $10 million in performance-based funding for education as the reason for the freeze in tuition.

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