JSU trustees adopt ‘block’ tuition rate for fall 2021, school name changes

Jacksonville State trustee Randy Owen speaks at the board's quarterly meeting on Tuesday. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)Jacksonville State trustee Randy Owen speaks at the board's quarterly meeting on Tuesday. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Matt Reed, Correspondent

The Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees announced Tuesday that it will implement a block tuition rate and will not be raising undergraduate tuition.

The trustees and administration outlined the new tuition policy, explaining that freshmen and sophomores taking between 12 and 18 hours will pay a flat tuition rate of $4,860 per semester and $9,720 per semester for out of state tuition. 

Any student taking less than 12 or more than 18 hours will be charged the existing $324 per credit hour rate. Juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to opt-in to the rate upon request.

“We estimate reducing one year of time in reaching graduation can save a student over $15,000 in tuition and $10,000 in room and board,” said Jim Brigham, senior vice president for finance and administration.

Members of the board have said that the new rate could be a plan to get students through college in four years, preventing extended college careers that come with taking fewer hours.

“Any way that we can help students get through quicker and out into the workforce is better for us,” said JSU President Don Killingsworth. “It was here when I was here as a student and I appreciated that the block tuition rate afforded me to take extra classes.”

The trustees also voted to change JSU’s six schools to colleges. The colleges will be the College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Health Professions and Wellness, the College of Business and Industry and the College of Arts and Humanities.

“I think it brings prestige back to our colleges,” said Killingsworth. The president also acknowledged that the name changes allow for the university to apply for more grants that are exclusive to colleges. 

In other business, the trustees:

— Approved an expenditure for a new residence hall and dining facility in the Building and Finance Committee.

— Announced a full audit compliance with no infractions.

— Announced that Dr. Jeff Ryan, JSU’s COVID-19 task force head, will retire on June 1. Ryan assured the trustees that “COVID is under control on our campus for the time being.”

— Passed a resolution conveying an honorary doctorate degree to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as previously announced at Killingsworth’s inaugural ceremony.

— Heard from Outgoing SGA President Jerod Sharp, who provided the board with a final report announcing that the Student Activities Council had topped 1,200 volunteer hours. Sharp also acknowledged Higher Education Day and the Collegiate Legislature as accomplishments of the SGA in the last year.

— Heard from Faculty Senate President Russell Hammack, who reported the Senate’s plans to include a new advocacy committee and faculty welcome guide to Jacksonville. Paul Hathaway will be succeeding Hammack as the new Faculty Senate President for the next academic year.

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