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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    AIMS waiver’s future unsure

    In order to comply with recent budget cuts, Arizona State University has proposed a suspension on the AIMS scholarship, which would effect thousands of in-state students, and it has been “”hinted”” that the UA may soon follow suit.

    The Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) scholarship is in its third year, and is awarded to any in-state student who achieves set academic criteria in high school. The scholarship covers tuition set at the students first year, and the student will receive the same amount for their remaining three years of college.

    Regent Ernest Calderon said that during a luncheon earlier this week, President Robert Shelton “”hinted”” that the suspension of the AIMS scholarship for UA students might be an option in the future.

    “”It’s certainly not on the horizon for the UA right now, but he hinted that is something that the university might have to look at,”” Calderon said.

    According to Rick Sears, associate director of enrollment research, UA supplies 2,110 students with the AIMS scholarship currently, and Sears expects the incoming freshmen class to bring another 1,000 AIMS recipients. The total value of the AIMS scholarship for current students this year is $10.5 million.

    Sears said many of these students would have received scholarships anyway, so the excess cost of the AIMS scholarship is about $2.5 million,

    ASU’s proposal will be up for discussion at the Arizona Board of Regent’s committee meeting mid-March, and then to the entire Board in April.

    John Nametz, UA director of student financial aid, said that while ASU gives out the largest amount of AIMS scholarships, UA has the most recipients per capita.

    Because of the large expense that comes from funding these scholarships, Nametz said it puts the university under tremendous pressure.

    “”That would not surprise me at all if Shelton supports suspending the AIMS scholarships,”” he said. “”There is a universal recognition at the universities that the AIMS is a serious expense for the three universities.””

    “”I can estimate between $1.5-2 million will be saved if we suspend the scholarship next year,”” Sears said.

    Nametz said he is the last person who would want to remove a scholarship, however it is important to take into account how the university is funded.

    “”If we have to pay for a huge scholarship, then that puts a lot of pressure on tuition ð- and no one likes that either,”” Nametz said.

    Whether UA administrators decide to follow in ASU’s footsteps or not, Nametz said he does not foresee this affecting in-state enrollment.

    “”The people who work for me make it absolutely certain that finances are not the reason that a person can’t come here,”” he said. “”In other words, if they need money to come here, we will find a way to make that happen.””

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