Thursday, April 9, 2015

UA President to Release Tuition & Fees Recommendation Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena

Presidents of the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University are releasing their tuition and fee recommendations tomorrow. Gov. Doug Ducey took a big, fat bite of about $99 million from their funding (while giving corporations more tax breaks and private prisons more money), so increases are inevitable.

The UA has to absorb nearly $28 million of the cuts. 

For lack of state money, the UA has increased tuition and fees by nearly 188 percent in the past 10 years. The only ones exempt from the burden this time are freshmen who came to the UA last fall. The Arizona Board of  Regents approved a tuition freeze last year for eight consecutive semesters. In exchange, these incoming freshmen had to pay 5.4 percent more than other students. Their tuition is about $10,900 a year.  

Earlier this year, ABOR said they hoped consequences of the massive budget cuts wouldn't end up on the shoulders of students and their families. While the tuition increase is understandable—this state doesn't value the importance of education—there are other issues in the UA, such as where the money is spent and the lack of transparency from the administration, according to leaders of some student organizations such as the Graduate and Professional Student Council and the Social and Behavioral Sciences Organizing Committee.

The Service Employees International Union, a group that wants to help improve the quality of academic jobs, said that only about 25 percent of the UA's budget expenditures go toward instruction. Tuition increase after tuition increase, students want to know exactly where their money is ending up. Undergraduate and graduate students want a say in all of this. After all, their pockets are the ones affected the most, not those of the people with the higher up administrative positions. 

On April 20, ABOR is having an interactive hearing at eight university campuses throughout the state to hear students and the public speak their minds on these tuition proposals. The three universities will present their proposals to the regents in person on April 27.

ABOR is expected to set tuition and fees on May 4.

Stay tuned.

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