LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - It's the third week of classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and administrators said there are fewer students attending them this year compared to last.
"We are looking like we are probably going to be down about 400 students," said Dr. Dean Kahler, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment.
Kahler confirmed that the numbers are not official yet, but the university is preparing for a significant loss in tuition dollars due to fewer students signing up for classes, which is forcing some serious last minute budget cuts.
"We are at this point not planning on filling any positions except those that are critical. We're also looking at 10 percent across the board non-personnel budget freeze. Those departments have the opportunity to determine where those cuts will come from," explained Kahler.
Despite the loss of income, Kahler said students can be assured the cost will not be passed on to them, meaning no increases to tuition or student services.
"We're going to have to tighten our belts even more so and find ways that we can save money and cut back on some areas without impacting student services," added Kahler.
Kahler attributes lower enrollment nationally to a better economy and less financial aid available for students.
UALR isn't the only Arkansas university feeling the sting of fewer students. Arkansas State University also saw a slight drop; however, the University of Central Arkansas is seeing an increase. In fact, it's the first increase in enrollment they've seen since 2008.