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Hope Lions Hear From UAHT Chancellor

By Mark Keith, 06/4/19 8:50 AM

The Hope Lions Club heard from UAHT Chancellor Chris Thomason for their first program in June. The Chancellor gave an update on events at the college. He noted the annual UAHT Lions Fish Fry served over 750 plates of fish despite wet weather and raised a record amount for the UAHT Foundation. He said the enrollment in the fall of 2018 the college had it’s largest enrollment in it’s 54 year history. Chancellor Thomason also said UAHT is number 9 the state in community college enrollment. The Chancellor also said they had their all-time high in graduations this past fall, issuing 807 degrees and certificates.
The college is the “secondary career center” for Southwest Arkansas and will offer that option for the first time in Hope for Hempstead, Lafayette, and Nevada County. Chancellor Thomason noted the “pilot” program with the Hope Collegiate Academy . 23 students completed the pilot and have enrolled for their junior year.
Chancellor Thomason talked about U.A. Fayetteville’s “Transfer Success Scholarship”. He called it the “biggest deal changer I’ve ever seen in my professional career with regard to education”. He said this program says if a student graduates with an A.A. degree from any U of A college in the state (there are 7) you can transfer to U.A. Fayetteville and finish your Bachelors Degree for the same tuition cost you were paying at that other U of A campus. The Chancellor noted this means someone who completes the Hope Collegiate Academy and graduates with an A.A degree will get their first 60 hours and books essentially for free. If they transferred to Fayetteville to finish their Batchelor’s Degree, they would pay $5,655 for their final 60 hours based upon the tuition at UAHT. They would also have to pay the last two years of UA Fayetteville fees of $3,811 and the last two years of books averaging $2,100. In that situation, the total cost for the bachelor’s degree would be $11,558.80 as opposed to going straight to Fayetteville after graduating high school (with no college credit) the cost would be $42,081.20. The student completing the Hope Collegiate Academy and going to Fayetteville would save nearly $31,000. Chancellor Thomason said many of those students will be most interested in returning home to use their education. He called it a “magical investment for our community going forward…it’s going to be an integral part of the prosperity that we’re planning for now over the next two years for Hempstead County”. Chancellor Thomason said Arkansas High in Texarkana is pursing a pilot program similar to the Hope Collegiate Academy.