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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Tuition talk 2016: the regents begin the discussion of setting students’ tuition

The Arizona Board of Regents is beginning the tuition setting process for Arizona’s three public universities.

Starting the dialogue today at the regents meeting hosted by Arizona State University, the board discussed financial aid and the need for an increase in need based aid.

The board provides guidance in the process of awarding financial aid, including how much money the Regents should set aside from tuition dollars to use for need based financial aid.

John Arnold, vice president for Business Management and Financial Affairs, and Mark Denke, associate vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, presented highlights from the FY 2015 Student Financial Aid Report.

Arnold said one of the first steps taken in the tuition setting process is looking back on what aid was available last year.

In FY 2015, 139,487 students, or 91 percent of the student population, received some form of financial aid.

Through 2014-15, total financial aid provided to students in the Arizona public university system was $2.2 billion. In the past five years, total financial aid increased about 43 percent from $1.5 billion in FY 2010.

The Annual Survey Report on State-Sponsored Student Financial Aid found that Arizona ranks 38th in the country for state-funded financial aid, 49th for state funded grant dollars per capita and 42nd for state expenditures as a percentage of state fiscal support for higher education, according to the 2013-14 National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs, or NASSGAP.

The report also showed that student financial aid primarily comes from loans, followed by institutional aid, with the state remaining the smallest source.

The boards President, Eileen Klein, said she sees this as a growing concern, but the most immediate priority is to pile money directly back into student financial aid.

Regent Treasurer, Rick Myers, pointed out that as state funding has been cut, they are now getting their funds more from parents and students, and less from the state.

Each of the university presidents will submit a tuition and fee proposal, which will be announced on March 18. On March 29, there will be a tuition hearing, followed by a tuition workshop on March 31. During the board meeting in April, the Regents are expected to set tuition rates.

Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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