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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Colleges propose new fees

    As UA colleges struggle to trim their budgets, some have turned to their students to bring in additional money though program fees, differential tuition and course fees.

    Both the Honors College and the College of Science have proposed to the Arizona Board of Regents that their students pay an extra $500 per year for their education, according to Patricia MacCorquodale, dean of the Honors College, and Elliott Cheu, College of Science associate dean.

    “”There will definitely be other units proposing fees,”” MacCorquodale said.

    If the proposal passes, students in the Honors College would have to pay a program fee each semester. The fee would be $250 a semester, or $500 a year for incoming students, MacCorquodale said. Current students would have to pay $125 a semester.

    “”We’ve written a proposal for a fee and if the Board of Regents follows the usual timetable, the fees would be heard in October at the same time that tuition setting happens,”” MacCorquodale said, “”The fee would become effective in (fall) 2010.””

    Both MacCorquodale and Cheu said they had heard ABOR might hold “”fee-setting”” in the spring, but saidit is not certain whether that will happen.

    Cheu said students in the College of Science would pay differential tuition at an extra $500 per year, if the proposal were passed. The increase would be to “”help cover costs that have been lost in the budget”” and “”maintain the same quality of education,”” Cheu said.

    Course fees coincide with a course a student is taking, but differential tuition is paid “”based on students’ enrollment,”” Cheu said. A student in the College of Science would pay the same differential tuition, no matter how many classes he or she is taking within the college.

    According to the ABOR Policy Manual, higher differential tuition may be charged by colleges that require “”markedly higher than university average expenditures”” and “”lead to employment possibilities from that entity that give students prospects that are demonstrably worth the higher price.””

    Several colleges at the UA already have differential tuition.

    College of Architecture Dean Emeritus Chuck Albanese introduced the extra charge about three years ago for the college’s undergraduates, he said. When the undergraduate program introduced differential tuition, it eliminated program fees.

    While a portion of the money collected from the differential tuition went toward financial aid and university administration, the “”remainder came directly to the College of Architecture,”” Albanese said.

    The bulk of students’ money went toward computer support, repairs, licensing fees for software, the new laboratory in the architecture building and a “”dean’s account,”” Albanese said.

    “”The money that went into the dean’s account was then set aside and when I met with the student leadership each semester, I asked the students what their priorities were in spending money, and the only restriction is the money cannot be used for parties or major social events,”” Albanese said.

    For undergraduates at the College of Architecture, differential tuition was put in place to “”help support the needs of the college, delivering the kind of quality services that we knew we had to,”” he said.

    For the Honors College, “”a fee would be put in place because the university is experiencing budget cuts because of the gap between the revenues of what the state is giving and what they were projected to get,”” MacCorquodale said. “”We would not want to decrease the services and opportunities for honors students.””

    According to the ABOR Policy Manual, “”special program fees are additional amounts charged to students in select undergraduate and graduate professional degree programs within colleges/schools or departments, including honors colleges, that have demonstrably higher costs of delivery overall because of special equipment, technological, and/or key personnel expenses.””

    “”(Honors students) are the kind of students that really thrive by being able to take honors classes which are taught by faculty and proceed at a faster pace and might be smaller sections with more discussion,”” MacCorquodale said. “”We wouldn’t want students to lose those opportunities.””

    “”The heart of the honors program is the academic opportunities that honors students have,”” MacCorquodale said. “”The community”” the Honors College provides for students and faculty is also something MacCorquodale said she would not want to lose.

    While students in the College of Science and the Honors College might have to pay more to obtain an education through their respective colleges, MacCorquodale said costs of education are increasing across the country.

    “”Well, I think it’s also important that students realize that even though costs are going up and fees are going up, it is a nation-wide issue, so it’s affecting students everywhere, and that the University of Arizona really is committed to staying average or below average compared to our peers,”” MacCorquodale said. “”We want to provide a quality education that’s comparable to our peers.””

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