For The News Courier
— The Board of Trustees of Athens State University voted Friday to raise tuition 9.2 percent for the 2013-2014 school year.
According to a press release, the increase equates to about $14 per semester hour. The release states that despite the increase, ASU’s tuition remains among the lowest of all state university.
“The university and the board of trustees are committed to keeping our tuition affordable,” said ASU President Dr. Bob Glenn. “When you consider cost and the quality of education, we believe students receive a tremendous value at Athens State.”
The increase only affects those students taking traditional or blended classes. Students enrolled in online courses will not be affected.
Tuition will be $167 per credit hour or $2,505 per semester for a student taking 15 hours of study. The increase will affect less than 50 percent of the University’s student body. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,450 students.
The increase is only the third time the University has raised its tuition rates in the past five years. Since 2008, the ASU has overcome state funding cuts that reached more than $3 million annually.
The university received a modest increase of less than $100,000 to its state appropriation this year while also absorbing increases to state retirement contributions — an additional $250,000 in cost next year.
Glenn said ASU appreciates the direction Gov. Robert Bentley and the State Legislature have taken to work to address funding needs within higher education. School officials said ASU serves a unique demographic because more than 90 percent of its student body work full or part-time.
“Our students are focused on completing their degree,” Glenn said. “They desire class formats that give them flexibility as well as a tuition rate that is competitive. As an institution, we are devoted to that end.”