New bill could exempt some Arizona university students from paying activities fees

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 4:33pm
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 4:38pm

The sun sets over a sign marking Arizona State University
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
The sun sets over a sign marking Arizona State University's Tempe campus in December 2022.

Students who attend Arizona’s public universities pay activity fees, even if they don’t use the services they fund. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the House Education Committee advanced a bill that would exempt certain students from paying those fees. Republican Sen. Jake Hoffman is the bill’s sponsor.

“We have skyrocketing inflation and we have single parents who are trying to put themselves through school, recently married people, veterans, online students and they don’t have the opportunity to submit an exemption or an objection to these fees being collected," he said.

Catcher Baden is with the Arizona Board of Regents, which opposes the bill. He said oftentimes, the fees are initiated by the students themselves and voted on by the student government.

“The bill unfortunately does automatically exempt pretty large groups of students and because of that, there is a pretty significant financial hit for those fees, which means that the activities they fund will have to be most likely truncated or eliminated," Baden said.

Republicans advanced the bill on a party-line vote. It now awaits a vote of the whole House chamber.

Politics Education