Friday, November 21, 2014

Arkansans outnumbered among UA freshmen; Texans on the rise

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 6:44 AM

click to enlarge NORTH TOWARD HOME: Texans flock to UA.
  • NORTH TOWARD HOME: Texans flock to UA.

I was talking yesterday about University of Arkansas President Donald Bobbitt's plan to vigorously push establishment of an online UA university (eVersity) as competition with the proliferating on-line offerings nationwide, both public and private.

UA campuses that have raised some careful questions about the plan have been getting raw PR treatment. You might think they oppose new technology and change. This overlooks that online courses are already a fact of life at every campus (a mother complained to me once that her residential student at UA-Fayetteville was taking every course that semester on-line, never visiting a bricks-and-mortar classroom). It overlooks questions about staffing up the eVersity with help from current faculty, who presumably already have full-time jobs. It presents questions about the quality of on-line courses, if they are stocked by low-cost (and perhaps less qualified) adjunct faculty.

But my real point of interest was the realization that the eVersity will have no borders. Nor should it. So we'll use Arkansas rootstock to offer college education in a nanosecond anywhere there's an Internet hookup, Altheimer or Afghanistan.

This is no more than we're doing now at conventional campuses with dorms, classrooms and libraries. See the University of Arkansas flagship campus in Fayetteville.

To get belatedly to the point of this item: The talk of universal offering of education reminded me I hadn't checked back with UA on final enrollment figures for fall. They are now available on-line. I find them interesting.

The 10-year trend, 2004 to today, 2014.

TOTAL UA ENROLLMENT

2004 17,269
2014 26,237 51.9% increase

ARKANSAS RESIDENT ENROLLMENT


2004 13,324
2014 14,629 9.8% increase

Out-of-state and foreign students now comprise almost 46 percent of UAF enrollment.

Of the almost 9,000 increase in enrollment since 2004, more than 5,600 of the growth has come from enrollment increases in the states that border Arkansas — Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi (in order of students). Students in these states aren't required to pay full out-of-state tuition, but the in-state rate plus a surcharge. It's a bargain. Correction: I forgot to include Kansas among the states with the tuition break. Also: It is now styled a "scholarship," but goes automatically to anyone from those states with a 24 ACT and 3.25 GPA. It waives 80 percent of the difference in in-state and out-of-state tuition. I'm unaware of any bonus tuition breaks automatically given to Arkansas students solely on the basis of a 24 ACT and 3.25 GPA.

The big contributors are Texas, with 4,595 students at Fayetteville, Missouri with 1,581 and Oklahoma with 1,038. The UA recruits heavily in Texas, where the flagship Texas campuses have become increasingly more competitive. There are 1,565 foreign students at UA.

The out-of-state percentage of campus enrollment seems likely to creep up over time, if incoming freshman classes are any indication.

In 2013, 2,887 of 5,665 freshmen were from Arkansas. In 2014, it was 2,976 of 5,959 or 49.8%. In 2014, 1,455 or almost 25 percent of freshmen,  were from Texas. CORRECTION: Puzzling through the UA numbers I discovered two sets of freshman data — one for total enrollment of those classified as freshmen (the previous numbers) and another for "new" freshmen. That number in 2014 showed 2,370 of 4,571, or 52%, of new degree-seeking freshmen were from Arkansas. Of the total, 1,152 were from Texas.

Rates make UA attractive to these students, but so, too, does the quality of education. UA aspires to be a nationally recognized research institution. It and every other UA campus have understandable fears that a competing eVersity — remember these campuses already have on-line instruction themselves — could set back their own adaptation to changing times. What's missing in Bobbitt's plan, perhaps, is a shared campus mission.

UPDATE: I heard from Sen. Joyce Elliott, who read this item with interest because she's raised questions in budget hearings about the subsidy the state of Arkansas provides at UAF and other campuses to students from neighboring states in giving preferential rates to people who pay no taxes here.

But the real unfairness, Elliott notes, is that we give a cut rate to Texans while Arkansas-raised children of unauthorized immigrants who graduated from Arkansas high schools (and whose families are paying taxes in Arkansas) not only are barred from in-state tuition, they are also barred from the cut-rate prices given people in neighboring states. It's an outrage.

CLARIFICATION: It is not UA policy to make undocumented children, no matter how deep their Arkansas roots, pay full tuition. That is state law, enforced by Gov. Mike Beebe, on all college campuses.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • More defense for the Duggars from Arkansas legislators Hester and Woods

    A couple of Arkansas Republican legislators rise to the defense of the Duggars. It's a family matter, they say. We beg to differ.
    • May 22, 2015
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation