In the coming school year eight state-supported universities in Arkansas will raise fees that students must pay to support athletic programs, according to a report by the state Higher Education Department.

Athletic fees range from $11.50 per credit hour at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia to $17 a credit hour at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.  The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville does not charge mandatory student fees for athletics.  The Razorbacks receive millions in ticket sales, licensing of products and television contracts.

The Razorback athletic program, with a total budget of $69 million, is by far the largest in the state. Arkansas State University at Jonesboro ranks second with an athletic budget of $12 million.

UCA is third with a budget of almost $9 million for athletics and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is fourth with an athletic budget of $6.7 million.  The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff follows right behind with annual spending on athletics of $6.2 million.

Arkansas Tech at Russellville spends almost $4 million a year on athletics, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and Henderson State each spend about $3.4 million, the University of Arkansas at Monticello $2.9 million and the University of Southern Arkansas at Magnolia $2.5 million.

The above article was provided by state Sen. Jimmy Jeffress, D-Crossett.