Arkansas In-State Policy Is Over


Corinne Zieg, Writer

In previous years, Arkansas gave reciprocity for students in Kansas and surrounding states, but this will be the final year of the policy. Due to an increased amount of student enrollment during 2021-2022, the numbers for student population grew by 2,375 while the original enrollment consisted of 27,500 students, this is a very high number for the students that were accepted to go to the college which eventually made their total student population 30,936 in a year. This caused several students to be unable to live on campus freshman year which the college then had to enforce extra housing and some students that applied to Arkansas earlier in the year were waitlisted to the high number of applicants for the Fall 2023 school year. 

Reciprocity means that high school graduates from neighboring states that wanted to go to Arkansas were able to get in-state tuition based on GPA. More than 30,000 students enrolled in Arkansas last year for the school year starting in Fall 2022, 50% of which were students who received reciprocity. Students in the class of 2023 who applied in 2022 were able to still accept the in-state tuition scholarship based on GPA. The scholarship gives students a certain amount of money for their GPA. The normal tuition price for a non-resident that wants to go to Arkansas who is taking 30 credit hours and other necessities is $46,054 whereas the in-state tuition is about $28,300 for taking 30 credit hours and other needs. 

Students with a 3.80 or higher the college will pay for 90% difference of in-state and out-of-state, and students with a 3.60 or higher will get an 80% difference of in-state and out-of-state, and if students have a 3.20 or higher the students will receive 70% difference of in-state and out-of-state tuition. Many students found this scholarship very helpful and affordable which started to make Arkansas popular throughout Kansas, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. 

Students at Olathe West who were interested in going to Arkansas have been impacted by the new policy, including junior Lauren Leucke. 

“I think it has impacted students who have to pay for their own college,” Leuke said. “It is a lot more money for them now that they don’t include in-state.” The biggest problem Arkansas had during last year’s enrollment was they accepted almost everyone that applied, which put students on off-campus housing due to overcrowding.

The college advisor at Olathe West Rachel Rafferty gives her opinion on what she thinks students will do after the policy is done “I feel like the ones that need financial assistance and are not wanting to stay in-state I feel like that will negatively affect them and kind of turn them away.” Rafferty said. This would be good for in-state colleges but also good for Arkansas as their student population would be able to go down to their normal student numbers. Also, due to the amount of students that applied to Arkansas earlier in the year were waitlisted.