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UCA Fall 1918

The fall of 1918 was much different than previous fall semesters at Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas).  There were very few men on campus, and men’s sports were canceled for the fall.  The men were involved in the Great War, later known as World War I.  There were 200 men enrolled at the Normal in spring 1917, but only 12 men were enrolled in classes in the spring of 1918. During the fall of 1918, there were approximately 18 men enrolled.

The attached PDF is an advertisement for the Normal for the fall of 1918.  Notice that tuition is free.  From the 1914 Normal Bulletin through the 1917 Normal Bulletin, the term “tuition” is used only to say there was none.  According to the 1917 Arkansas State Normal School (ASNS) Bulletin, “No tuition fees are charged in the regular Normal course.  All students pay an incidental fee of $5.00 and a library fee of $3.00 when they enroll, and students in the science department will be required to pay for any breakage of apparatus for which they may be held responsible.  A deposit of $1.00 per term is required of science students and this, or any unused portion of it, will be refunded at the close of the term.  Students of piano pay a fee of $4.00 per month or when paid in advance $11.00 per term, two lessons per week.  A piano may be rented at 50 cents per month for one hour daily.”

The 1918 ASNS Bulletin reads a little differently, but there is still no charge for tuition, for  in state students.  Listed under the heading “Expenses” the library and incidental fees are $8.00, laboratory fee of $3.00, and text books were estimated to cost $8.00.  Room and board for women living in Doyne Hall was $15.00 per month, and room and board with most Conway residents ranged from $18.00 to $20.00 monthly.  Though tuition was not charged to Arkansas residents, it was charged to out of state students.  Out of state students were required to pay tuition at the rate of $3.00 per month.  The 1918 ASNS Bulletin made the first mention of out of state tuition.

Due to the Spanish influenza pandemic that swept the nation and state, ASNS students were given the option of leaving ASNS during the first week of December, and not returning until after the holidays.  Only about 40 students accepted this offer.  It should be noted that some state supported institutions of higher education either began the fall semester late, or closed early, or did not open at all for the fall semester due to the outbreak of Spanish influenza.