Arkansas – A bill was filed Thursday in the Arkansas legislature, seeking to answer a question that many parents and prospective college students ask almost on a daily basis: how much will it cost to go to college?
The bill, SB397, sponsored by Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) and Rep. Nelda Speaks (R-Mountain Home), has several other area lawmakers as co-sponsors.
They include Reps. Frances Cavenaugh (R-Walnut Ridge), Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) and Michelle Gray (R-Melbourne).
Lawmakers said in the bill they are attempting to provide information at a key time for parents and students alike.
“The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall create a Higher Education Consumer Guide that is designed for use by prospective students and parents and legal guardians of prospective students at a state-supported institution of higher education,” the bill noted.
The bill covers all state-supported two-year and four-year colleges and universities in the state.
Under the bill, the following questions would be among the questions to be answered in the guide:
- Retention and graduation rates
- Cost of tuition
- The average amount borrowed and loan default rate
- Percentage of students who applied for first-time undergraduate admission and were offered admission to each state-supported institution of higher education
- Average test scores of students admitted to each state-supported institution of higher education.
- Job placement of students within the first three years of graduation
- Income of college alumni over the first 20 years after completion of their credential.
- Percentage of students admitted to each state-supported institution of higher education from the top 10 percent of a public high school class in the state
- Average number of semesters for completion of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree at the institution.