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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tuition on the rise

    Outrageous, ridiculous, unfair and a myriad of other non-printable words have been used to describe the looming tuition increase, which will start at a minimum of $160 and could get as high as $726.

    “”Obviously (with) the state of the economy, it’s understandable,”” said Laura Dean, a retailing and consumer sciences sophomore.

    By only raising tuition the minimum amount, the present enrollment level would allow the UA to generate an excess of $6 million.

    “”What do they plan on doing with that money?”” said Dean.

    UA president Robert Shelton said he has not finalized a proposal for the Arizona Board of Regents, but continues to meet with students and other groups to create a draft by the November deadline.

    “”The cost of providing a high-quality education continues to rise overall. Couple this with the significant reductions in support from the state, and the need for additional funds becomes compelling. Any tuition increase should benefit students via class availability, improved advising/counseling (e.g. Counseling and Psychological Services), improved services and retention of the very best professors,”” said Shelton.

    Although students question the need for tuition hikes, Regent President Fred Boice said it is more complicated than people understand.

    “”(Arizona’s public universities) took a $50 million dollar cut in June and the governor said $50 million more may be cut in November, and they will possibly cut us again next spring. Revenues are not getting any better so why would you think we would have any additional money next year? … Where would you suggest the money come from?”” said Boice.

    He added that in the next year and a half, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the UA may have to endure a budget cut of $150 million. Another point Boice said students miss is that some of the money from the tuition increase goes to financial aid.

    “”I admit it seems backwards … but I think it’s our responsibility for qualified young men or women to not be denied higher education because they can’t afford it. The state won’t give us any money,”” he said.

    “”Colorado puts in $55 million (for financial aid); Indiana puts in $280 million; Arizona puts in $10 million. So how do we take and provide financial aid for those qualified students? We have no choice but to raise tuition, take a share of that and make it available for financial aid. The three universities provided $250 million of financial aid in this student year.””

    Dean said the idea of taking a percentage of the increased tuition for financial aid is just masking the fact that students still have to pay more for college.

    “”It doesn’t change anything. I think people say that to make it look better. I don’t think the 15 percent really changes my perception of the fact that tuition is still going to be raised.””

    Boice said he understands the students’ complaints, but the current situation leaves the regents in a difficult position.

    “”Should the burden be on the students? Absolutely not. These are public institutions; should the state be paying their way and shoulder a major share of the burden? Absolutely. But should they choose not to, what would you have us do?””

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