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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ariz. students who need fin. aid increase 4 percent

    The number of students who require financial aid within the three Arizona universities has increased by almost four percent over the past year, according to the 2007 Financial Aid Report approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in its meeting Friday.

    Last year, 93,646 students statewide were awarded $988.9 million in financial aid. The total recipients equate to 78 percent of enrolled students.

    Still, an estimated 36 percent of students still have unmet financial aid needs, the report states.

    The largest source of financial aid comes from federal student loans, which leave students with an average debt of $18,029 for undergraduates and $35,880 for graduate students.

    However, the report states that only 52 percent of undergraduates and 51 percent of graduate students are in dept upon graduation, numbers Regent Gary Stuart found surprising.

    “”The press seems to think that students are drowning in debt,”” he said. “”This suggests only half of students are graduating with debt. Seems to me to contradict with current assumptions that there is a great deal of debt within every student’s experience.””

    As the number of students receiving aid is increasing, funding for that aid is coming primarily from the university, a practice that should be revisited, regents said.

    Last year, only 1,118 students received from the state a combined 0.2 percent of aid awarded.

    The information presented in the report will help the board decide on tuition rates for the next fiscal year, a decision that will come in a December meeting at Arizona State University.

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