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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Regents to hear students on tuition

    Students can voice their opinions about the proposed tuition increases tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Room 211 of the Harvill building as part of the Arizona Board of Regent’s annual
    tuition hearings.

    President Robert Shelton has proposed an increase in tuition of 9.8 percent for in-state undergraduate students and 15 percent for out-of-state undergraduate students.

    In contrast, the Arizona Students’ Association, which represents student governments from the state’s three universities, is recommending a tuition freeze for the upcoming year.

    ASA is asking the state to pay the difference between the money current tuition rates are raising and what the recommended increases would raise, said Tiffany Troidl, ASA government affairs director. The difference comes to about $25 million.

    “”We’re concerned that tuition has been increasing at an outrageous amount,”” Troidl said. “”It’s made tuition and a college education less affordable for many students and unpredictable for many students.””

    If the state will not pay the difference between the two amounts, the state should pay enough to ensure that tuition must be increased only 5 percent across the board, Troidl said.

    To help illustrate their cause, ASA and student governments have been distributing survey cards at all three universities that students can use to write their opinions about the tuition proposals, Troidl said.

    So far, about 6,000 cards have been collected and will be given to the regents at the hearings, she said.

    “”That’s just another way to reach out to students,”” said David Martinez III, a non-voting student regent on the Board of Regents and an education senior.

    However, despite the students’ efforts, tuition must increase, said Fred Boice, president of the Arizona Board of Regents.

    “”Tuition is going up,”” he said. “”It has to.””

    Citing the current economy and dwindling state funds, Boice said that there is little possibility of a tuition freeze, although he thinks the student involvement on this issue is admirable.

    Students seem to be more interested in the predictability of future tuition than money, he added.

    Within the proposals, ABOR will analyze long-term goals, Martinez said, adding that a more predictable, steady increase in tuition could give families of students a chance to budget better for their college career.

    “”Both the student proposal and the president’s proposal look at a need that’s pretty new this time around, and that’s predictability,”” he said.

    Many factors will be considered before determining next year’s tuition rates, including finding a balance among the proposals of the president and the students, and weighing that against the state’s budget shortfalls and the need for an affordable college education.

    “”This hearing is an opportunity for regents to just hear what is on the minds of Arizona citizens concerning tuition,”” Martinez said. “”Hopefully, we will come out of the process with successes on many sides.””

    ABOR will set tuition for the 2007-2008 school year during its meetings Dec. 5-6 at Arizona State University.

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