Lawmakers and the governor seem to be closing in on a deal on the new state budget. Who wins and who’s getting cut?
Arizona universities ask for tuition increases
Students at Arizona’s three public universities would pay three to five percent more in tuition next year, under requests made by the schools. ASU and UofA are each asking for three percent increases, while NAU is asking for a five percent hike. Board of Regents Chair Rick Myers says he’s pleased with the proposals, which he calls reasonable. He says even with a tough economy, and reduction in state funding over the past several years, the universities have been able to keep their requests for higher tuition fairly modest.
"We’re big institutions, and we incur those costs," Myers said. "We have health care benefits for our people, we have people to pay, energy expense. So, all those things, as the expense goes up, we have to get additional revenue. We don’t want it all to come from the students."
Myers says it would be nice if tuition were lower, but that the state would have to provide a lot more resources than it’s currently able to. Myers doesn't think the current requests violate the provision in the state Constitution, which requires universities be “as nearly free as possible.”
"You need to do that in a high-quality way, and provide the services and the degrees, the things that the state needs in order to have a competitive economy," Myers said. "And, that does take some money. So, clearly our intention is to be as efficient as possible.
The regents will take public comment on the proposals at a hearing later this month. They’re expected to vote on them next month.