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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial: Stop picking on out-of-state students

    It’s always easy to pick on the new guy from out of town.

    This year, President Peter Likins made a point of picking on the “”new guy”” of the UA – out-of-state undergraduates.

    In his tuition proposal, Likins called on students coming from everywhere but Arizona to pay $1,222 extra each year, starting next fall. The proposal would raise out-of-state undergraduate tuition by 8.9 percent, the second-largest such increase in three years.

    It’s to be expected that out-of-state undergraduates shoulder the burden of tuition increases, as they lack parents in Arizona whose taxes – though now more meagerly then ever – make it to the UA.

    It’s also been said that while out-of-state tuition is rather expensive – it currently stands at $13,682 per year -in comparison to the cost for students who attend schools in states like California and New York, it is markedly low.

    However, the UA should carefully consider the effects of constantly beating up on the kid from out of state, because eventually the gap between affordable out-of-state tuition and pricey in-state tuition will surely close. That could push the UA out of the market for many students who would instead opt for a comparable price that keeps them closer to home.

    The UA’s largest out-of-state influx comes courtesy of our neighbor to the west, from which nearly 3,000 students bring California dollars every year.

    The cost of these students attending schools like the University of Southern California and Stanford University pales in comparison to tuition at the UA. But not all California schools are that expensive.

    According to figures from the University of California, also known as the UC system, tuition for in-state residents can range from $7,603 to more than $9,000 per year, depending on the particular campus students attend. That’s less than what the UA would charge the same student crossing state lines.

    At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, which in many ways exceeds the UA’s scientific researching prowess, in-state tuition varies from $4,000 to $6,000 per term, depending on the degree sought. With fees, in-state students in Michigan can end up paying close to $13,000 per year for classes.

    That number has been surpassed by the UA, and will only grow larger with future increases like the one proposed by Likins.

    It’s clear that Likins has set a goal of making the UA a national powerhouse, but the move to drive up prices for out-of-state undergrads could ultimately harm the university, as many students will find paying tuition at the UA is no longer cost-effective.

    The UA cannot become an institution that attracts the best and brightest from the country if those students can more easily afford to stay home and study at prominent regional schools.

    In the future, administrators would be smart to limit dramatic tuition increases for out-of-state students. That move, coupled with excellence in research, will garner the UA national attention as a premier, and affordable, institution.

    Opinions Board

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Lori Foley, Caitlin Hall, Michael Huston, Ryan Johnson, Aaron Mackey and Tim Runestad.

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