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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Take a tuition hike

Take a tuition hike

The UA is proposing a $1,500 tuition increase for all resident students next year, according to the UA’s official proposal to the Arizona Board of Regents.

For residents, this would raise tuition to $9,114, a 19.7 percent increase over current tuition levels.

Non-resident tuition would increase by $600 to $24,574, a 2.5 percent rise, and students at UA South will see a raise of either a $600 for nonresidents or a $1,200 for residents.

Student fees will also increase, with the health, wellness and recreation fee increasing by $150 and the student information technology fee by $125.  

The increase is meant to help offset another round of budget cuts from the state. Gov. Jan Brewer proposed cutting $170 million from the three state universities, including $67 million from the UA in her executive proposal, but the most recent proposition from the state Senate would cut an additional $65 million from the universities, raising the UA’s total cut to $92 million.

The UA’s proposed tuition increases do not cover additional cuts under the Senate proposal and UA President Robert Shelton said if the Senate proposal were adopted the UA would need to “”rethink all aspects”” of its 2012 budget.  

In its proposal submitted to the regents during its most recent study session, the UA said that for every $10 million in lost state funding, tuition would have to be raised $500 to offset the cost.

The proposed tuition increase would raise an additional $22 million in revenue for the UA.

 ””This tuition proposal, combined with our continued commitment to financial aid, will allow us to offer an accessible, affordable, high-quality education that Arizona students will need to successfully take our state to a brighter future,”” said UA President Robert Shelton in a release.

Tuition at the other two state universities is also expected to increase. Northern Arizona University’s proposal would increase tuition ranging from $184 to $1,045 and Arizona State University’s from $1,198 to $1,415, depending on residency and class standing.

Shelton said the UA does not compare itself to NAU or ASU because “”each university offers a unique educational experience.””

Elma Delic, the board chair of the Arizona Students’ Association, said the differences in tuition increases among the universities were in line with the regents’ attempts to differentiate between the institutions.

Despite the tuition increases, Shelton said the UA will maintain the regents’ set-aside for need-based financial aid, which constitutes 17 percent of total tuition dollars.

The UA is also working to address the shortfall through staff reductions and program consolidation or elimination and “”stands by”” its commitment to cut $39 million from the university budget on top of tuition and fee increases.

“”The UA is taking an aggressive path to reorganize itself around the critical issues confronting Arizona,”” Shelton said. “”The university has invested in interdisciplinary solutions to provide students with leading-edge learning opportunities that will uniquely qualify them to lead our state and country forward in the decades to come.””

Emily Fritze, the president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, called the cuts “”discouraging”” and said the cuts placed an additional burden on UA students.

“”The immediate reaction we’re getting (from students) is frustration and concern about the increases,”” Fritze said. “”We hear these sorts of stories every day.””

Fritze said the cuts were in line with what ASUA had expected from conversations with UA administrators, but lamented that tuition has almost doubled in the last six years.

State appropriation to the universities has fallen approximately $230 million since 2008, and the cuts proposed by the Senate would bring that total to $465 million, a 42 percent decrease in total state funding. Regents Chair Anne Mariucci called that figure “”appalling”” in a release.

“”Irresponsibly deep cuts in higher education funding will negatively impact Arizona’s economic recovery and thus future state revenues,”” Mariucci said.

Delic said the group is continuing to combat tuition increases and the state Senate’s budget proposal. She also said it was important for students to get involved in the process and make their voices heard and highlighted ASA’s efforts to encourage students to write emails or call their legislators.

Shelton urged students to look beyond the sticker price of tuition and fees.

“”With this tuition proposal, we will be able to continue our strong financial aid program,”” he said. “”The value of a UA degree must be maintaied and indeed appreciate with time.””

The regents will host a video-conference tuition hearing on March 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The UA’s link to the hearing will be held in Room 211 of the Harvill building.

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