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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Board of Regents approves UA tuition proposal

The Arizona Board of Regents has increased tuition for resident, undergraduate students by more than 20 percent each of the last three years. During its meeting on Thursday, however, the board elected not to increase it at all.

In a unanimous vote, the board chose to keep tuition and mandatory fees for resident, undergraduate students steady at $10,035. This applies to both incoming and continuing students. Every other segment of the student body saw about a 3 percent increase, with nonresident undergraduate tuition rising to $26,231, resident graduate tuition to $11,122, and nonresident graduate tuition rising to $26,533.

Many regents praised the proposal for keeping tuition as level as possible, especially in the face of continuing uncertainty over the state budget. Regent Rick Myers said that, with proper funding, the Arizona University System might be able to help students even more.

“I would love it if someday we can have a meeting where we’re actually reducing tuition because we’re able to get the support we need,” Myers said. “Zero is good, but a negative number is even better if we can get the kind of support we need across the board.”

Regent Mark Killian said that he hopes one day Arizona’s universities are the cheapest in the nation and provide the highest quality and that the state Legislature needs to have the same goal.

“That’s what we need to stress to our Legislature. We need to be the epicenter of education in America,” he said.

Killian also said the Legislature needs to understand that there is a “public interest in investing in public education.”

“I’d rather be paying for tuition than welfare checks,” he said.

Though the tuition rate for resident undergraduates will not rise, the amount of tuition still might. Last year, the board approved a $750 rebate for students to help offset the $1,500 total tuition increase. That rebate will expire this year.

UA President Eugene Sander said he did not know how much financial aid might offset this additional $750, but confirmed that this, like all tuition dollars, is subject to the regent-mandated financial aid set-aside of 17 percent.

“You do the math,” Sander said. “It’s a fair amount of money.”

While this year’s tuition is set, some regents were already looking ahead. Regent Dennis DeConcini asked the three university presidents if they could generally project what tuition proposals might look like next year.

Sander said that it’s difficult to “look into that crystal ball,” particularly since the state budget is in flux due to the expiration of the Proposition 100 sales tax and potential new costs from the federal health care law.

“One of the reasons I really really wanted to hold the line this year was that, with those uncertainties, we may not be able to in the future,” he said.

-More details will follow in tomorrow’s edition of the Daily Wildcat.

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