The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

57° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Regents to set tuition today

    Regents to set tuition today

    The Arizona Board of Regents will set 2007-08 tuition at its meeting today, and all eyes are on a statewide student proposal aimed at putting pressure on the state Legislature for more funding.

    Under the proposal from student leaders, tuition would go up by 2.3 percent – on the condition that legislators approve a $150 million increase to the state university system, from which each institution would see an 8 percent total budget increase.

    If state lawmakers don’t match those figures, the student proposal backs the numbers from each individual university president. For the UA, that means supporting President Robert Shelton’s proposed 6.5 percent tuition hike.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog said she can’t tell how the regents will vote, but added that students have reason to hope it passes.

    “”The cost of attending the university is so much more than tuition,”” Hertzog said. “”Tuition is the one aspect we have control over.””

    Regent Fred Boice said he will vote against

    If you want cheap tuition, we can get that, just forget about financial aid.

    – Fred Boice,
    regent

    the student proposal because legislators might feel students are exerting too much pressure on the vote for funding.

    The process of setting the state budget is complicated, and too much pressure might spur a backlash from the capitol, Boice said.

    “”Don’t forget, these guys make the rules,”” Boice said.

    Boice said he was most worried that endorsing such a risky proposal would endanger financial aid because financial aid and tuition are so closely linked at the UA.

    The state gives almost no money for financial aid, so 30 percent of the money raised from tuition goes toward helping underprivileged students, Boice said.

    “”If you want cheap tuition, we can get that,”” Boice said. “”Just forget about financial aid.””

    Hertzog said money for financial aid is a big part of the concerns that always arise when it comes time to set tuition.

    “”I don’t think the student proposal alleviates any of those concerns, but I don’t think it increases those concerns, either,”” Hertzog said.

    Regent Dennis DeConcini has said in the past that he is in full support of the student proposal, and he plans to vote for it.

    Though Boice said he plans to vote against it, he would like to see the final solution be some sort of compromise between the student and presidential proposals.

    While she still plans to push hard for the student plan, Hertzog said she wouldn’t be opposed to such a compromise.

    Boice said he is so impressed by how organized and articulate students have been and that he is confident they will end up paying less than the amount from Shelton’s proposal.

    After tuition is set, the regents’ governmental affairs employees will set out to inform the state Legislature of the decision, said Anne Barton, regents’ spokeswoman.

    After that, the regents’ legislative committee will set meetings with leading state lawmakers to lobby for more university funding.

    While Hertzog said more students would be likely to aid in the lobbying effort if the student tuition proposal passes, she won’t abandon her quest to the statehouse if it fails.

    “”Regardless, we’ve got plans to make students more involved in lobbying this year,”” Hertzog said.

    The regents will be setting tuition and mandatory fees today at 2 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search