ASU System President Requests Flat Tuition, Fees for Fall 2020

We were unable to send the article.

Arkansas State University System President Chuck Welch has asked the system’s campuses to prepare budgets with no tuition or fee increases for fall 2020, recognizing the financial hurdles students face amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ASU System is not the first to consider keeping tuition flat for the upcoming fall semester. The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees voted last week to hold the line on tuition.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ASU System said it’s been allocated $15.2 million in federal aid under the CARES Act. Half of that will be awarded as emergency financial aid grants to students. 

The system has not received the money yet, nor has it received guidance on how to spend it. But it said it “expect(s) to have significant flexibility in distribution of the funds.” Options under consideration include room and board refunds and scholarships.

In other business, the ASU System reported that it expects a 10% reduction in state funding for fiscal 2021, as the state adjusts its budget amid the pandemic. That 10% equates to $9 million, including nearly $6 million for its flagship campus in Jonesboro.

The current impact of state budget reductions on the system is $4.8 million, including $2.35 million reduction for A-State. That impact is on the fiscal year ending June 30.

“The good news is that the university has never been better positioned to respond to a budget crisis like this, given our significantly improved reserve balances over the past few years,” A-State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said in an email to the campus community.

The system said its six campuses won’t have to lay off employees or use reserve funds because of the fiscal 2020 reductions.

ASU System institutions’ fiscal 2021 budgets will be considered by the ASU System Board of Trustees at its June 4 meeting.