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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA plans to raise tuition

The UA is considering tuition increases for the next academic year, as additional financial support from the state seems unlikely.

The tuition plan the UA is currently working on to present to the Arizona Board of Regents next week includes a 2 percent tuition increase for in-state students and a 5 percent tuition increase for out-of-state students, according to Andrew Comrie, UA provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs.

“We’re trying to make the impact as reasonable as we can,” Comrie said.

Tuition as it stands for the 2013-2014 academic year is $10,390 for in-state students and $27,072 for out-of-state students. The amount the UA is looking to add would equal about $207 for in-state tuition and about $1,353 for out-of-state tuition. The UA has increased tuition by more than 70 percent since 2008.

The tuition plan is still being talked about, according to Melissa Vito, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Vito said the 2 percent increase for in-state students would act as a way to cover the rising costs to the UA and adjust for inflation.

“When we built our business plan, it built in a 2 percent assumption around tuition increases as a part of that plan,” Vito said.

The cost of “keeping the lights on” at the university rises by more than 2 percent each year, Comrie said.

The UA administration presented this plan to UA student leaders Morgan Abraham, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and an engineering management senior, and Zach Brooks, Graduate and Professional Student Council president and a second language acquisitions graduate student.

Abraham said he is a happy with a 2 percent increase for in-state students, but is concerned with the increase for out-of-state students.

“The out-of-state proposal on this model is definitely a little higher than we’d like to see,” Abraham said.

GPSC has not yet taken a position on these potential increases, according to Brooks.
How much the state allocates to the UA is major factor being brought up in the discussion over tuition rates. In the proposed budget Gov. Jan Brewer released in January, the UA was allotted about 10 percent of the funding requested by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The budget has yet to be set, but changes are likely to occur to what Brewer originally proposed as it makes its way through the Legislature, Comrie said.

Brooks said that the direction the Legislature takes will have an impact on how much the UA asks for tuition.

“So, [the Legislature] could go even lower than the governor, and if they go past a certain point on the low end, that means they have to raise tuition even higher,” Brooks said.

Comrie said he hopes the Legislature will allocate more funding to the UA.

“I’m hopeful that we can persuade them that we are a really good investment for the state,” Comrie said.

Another topic in the tuition conversation is the possibility of the UA adopting a guaranteed tuition plan. A guaranteed tuition plan would allow students coming into the university to know their tuition rate for the next four years. Abraham said he and Brooks went to the UA administration and pushed for a guaranteed tuition model for students, and the administration was surprised by how hard they were advocating for it.

Vito said the UA is still looking at different models for tuition and at how guaranteed tuition would
affect its strategic plan, Never Settle.

Brewer called on the state universities to look at ensuring more predictable and dependable tuition rates in her State of the State address in January.

“That’s part of what’s driven us, along with conversations with student leaders, to try to look at a guaranteed plan and respond to her particular request to us,” Vito said.

Comrie said the UA is considering NAU’s PLEDGE plan as a possible way to stabilize tuition. The PLEDGE plan guarantees students the same tuition rate for four years.

Abraham said he is hopeful that the UA will adopt a guaranteed tuition plan.

“I’m very optimistic that in the next couple weeks we’ll hear … that they’re going to push for guaranteed tuition,” Abraham said.

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