by Max Brantley
State Sen. Jimmy Jeffress, who also happens to be father of an Arkansas State University graduate student, has written an indignant letter to ASU President Les Wyatt about fee increases proposed for next school year. They still must be approved by the ASU Board.
Jeffress tots up all the increases -- in the tuition, athletic fee, capital improvement fee and math/science course fee -- and figures a student taking 15 hours a semester is looking at a 7.5 percent rate increase, or $465 a year. The figure would be higher with more than one math or science course per semester.
"For ASU to rectify its current financial situation by placing a crushing financial burden on the backs of students and their parents is unconscionable," Jeffress wrote. He also raised the lottery, as he has before.
"As chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, I can tell you my colleagues have worried since we began planning the lottery that the state's institutions would attempt to capitalize on that additional scholarship funding." He said the scholarships were supposed to reduce the burden on students, but it won't happen if the additional money is eaten up with cost increases.