The board of trustees at Alabama State University voted yesterday (Wednesday, July 31) to increase tuition by 10 percent, or $793 per year, for full time students taking thirty (30) credit hours per year.

The University reported that the tuition hike would be effective immediately, beginning with the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year.  This is the first increase for ASU students since 2010.

Elton Dean, chairman of the university’s board of trustees, said the increase was needed because of cuts in state funding, physical improvements made to the campus, and an expansion to the school’s curriculum.

“Over the past three years we have expanded both academically and physically, but a number of factors including decreased state funding during the same period of time, have made the decision to raise tuition necessary,” Dean said in a statement.

Dean also noted that university officials would continue to look for ways to help students pay for the cost of attending ASU.  Acting ASU President William Harris said the university must maintain quality services for students, while simultaneously keeping the cost of attendance low.

“The board’s decision to change tuition was reached only after thoughtful deliberation revealed it was the responsible way to go,” Harris said.

Sharod Campbell, president of the ASU Student Government Association, said he was disappointed by the board’s decision, though he said school officials had warned that the tuition increase might be coming. “But the timing is never right for an increase and it’s still tough to digest,” Campbell said.

Democratic state Rep. John Knight of Montgomery said ASU, like other schools, has seen costs go up in recent years while at the same time revenue has mostly declined. “It’s happening to everybody,” said Knight, who is also executive vice president and chief operating officer at Alabama State.