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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tuition may go up by more than $2K

UA President Robert Shelton sent a proposal to the Arizona Board of Regents on Friday to raise tuition for the 2010-11 academic year. If the increase passes, in-state undergraduate and graduate tuition would increase by $1,450, to $7,224 and $8,014 respectively. He has also suggested raising non-resident tuition by $2,000, to $22,983 for undergraduates and $23,276 for graduate students.

The proposal also includes an increase in base tuition for UA South’s in-state students by $500 for undergraduates, which would raise their tuition to $5,453.

Resident graduate students and all non-resident students at UA South would pay the same base tuition as students at the main campus.

Jonathan Garcia, a pre-law and criminal justice junior, interns as captain of the tuition campaign with the Arizona Students’ Association. He is struggling as a result of  tuition increases.

“”I have to work probably two jobs next semester, and it’s not easy,”” Garcia said.

He works at the UofA Bookstore to pay for school.

“”Working another job would just be an obstacle for trying to pursue this dream that I’m trying to get,”” Garcia added.

Garcia hopes to go to law school and eventually practice law in Tucson.

“”We’re very concerned about the increases that have been proposed and how they’re going to affect affordability for students and families in tough economic times,”” said Elma Delic, ASA’s board chair.

She added that ASA believes that the regents need to ensure affordability and keep their promise of predictability by determining how much families can afford.

“”In general, we need to maintain quality at the university, and we need to maintain access to a university education,”” said Johnny Cruz, UA assistant vice president of communications. “”The proposed increases in tuition will enable the university to continue providing quality in spite of the massive reductions in state funding.””

Cruz said the university’s commitment to financial aid is “”as big as it ever has been.””

According to a press release issued last week, 54 percent of in-state undergraduate students graduated with no debt.

The press release also mentioned that the UA is maintaining “”its commitment to Arizona Assurance, a financial and academic aid program that offers four years of debt-free education to select Arizona residents who meet the UA’s admissions requirements and come from a home with an adjusted gross income of $42,400 or less.””

“”In spite of these increases, we’ll continue to make significant investments in financial aid so that students continue to have the opportunity to go here and have a quality experience while they go here,”” Cruz said. 

According to Cruz, the university sustained a $100 million cut, reducing the university’s state funding to the level of fiscal year 2006. He said that $40 million was permanently cut from the university’s budget. Approximately $60 million in stimulus funding has temporarily supported the UA, but that money will run out within two years.

“”This proposed tuition increase covers some of that but not all of that,”” Cruz said. “”The increases are in response to the dramatic reduction we’ve experienced in state funding.””

Even with record enrollment and major budget cuts, Cruz said the university has been committed to providing financial aid for students.

“”Last year, an in-state undergraduate, on average, paid $1,977,”” Cruz said. “”That was the average out-of-pocket cost, which is significantly lower than the published tuition price.””

Cruz sent out a press release last week stating, “”Prior to issuing the recommendations, Shelton consulted with student and faculty leaders, and several advisory groups throughout the UA campus.””

“”Our students know their UA education is a remarkable value, and they know they can also find financial support in order to attain their educational goals,”” Shelton said in a press release issued last week.

ABOR will review Shelton’s proposed tuition and fee increases at their meeting on March 11.

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