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UA: No Tuition Increase for In-State Continuing Undergrads
Adjusted for the Consumer Price Index, per-student funding for the UA is at its lowest level since 1967.
The University of Arizona is recommending no base tuition increase in 2012-13 for all continuing undergraduate resident students – despite years of declining state support and steep budget cuts.
For new undergraduate resident students entering in fall 2012, all resident graduate students, and all non-resident students, a modest tuition increase of less than 3 percent is proposed.
No new mandatory fees are being recommended.
"The University is clearly demonstrating its commitment to student access, affordability and cost containment by controlling tuition levels to a percentage increase not seen since the mid-1990s," UA President Eugene G. Sander said.
Students experienced larger tuition increases in recent years. "The UA recognizes that currently enrolled Arizona undergraduate students and their families have contributed substantially and need some financial stability," Sander said.
The UA's sustained advancement of the System Enterprise Plan, as set forth by the Arizona Board of Regents, is not possible without the proposed tuition increase, he said.
Tuition dollars expand student access through investments in financial aid, student success through greater course availability for undergraduates and new sources of academic support for students.
The state budget cuts suffered by the UA – more than $180 million since 2008 – are unprecedented and well-documented. Adjusted for the Consumer Price Index, per-student funding for the UA is at its lowest level since 1967.
"Everyone on campus experienced the impact of these cuts in one way or another," Sander said. "Hundreds of positions were eliminated, academic programs were cut, colleges were consolidated and tuition was raised. In addition, the University has imposed multiple budget reductions across the campus, mandated furloughs and instituted an early retirement program for faculty."
In the midst of these extraordinary budget reductions, the University took an approach that protected academic quality and invested significantly in financial aid to ensure that all qualified students have an opportunity to attend the UA. In the 2012 fiscal year, more than $154 million of institutional dollars are being invested in financial aid.
The UA's commitment to affordability has resulted in a percentage of undergraduate students carrying debt after graduation very similar to that seen in fiscal year 2005.
In addition, the University's commitment to quality is bearing fruit. Even in the midst of a historic reduction in state appropriations, the UA has been achieving distinctions never-before-seen in its history.
This year, the UA is seeing record enrollment, record numbers of applicants, record research performance, record diversity, record numbers of national scholars and record access to a University degree. In addition, students are averaging more credit hours than at any point since the UA began tracking this data.
In the most recent Undergraduate Campus Climate Survey, UA students said overwhelmingly that they are receiving a quality education, satisfied with the quality of faculty instruction and that the UA provides them with a challenging academic experience.
"These accomplishments are the result of dramatic changes the UA has made in how we do business, emerging as an institution poised for a new era of excellence," Sander said. "This proposal is another step forward in that process."
The University also is taking a comparable, measured approach to increases in College of Medicine tuition as well as selected differential tuition, program fees and special class fees.
Moving forward, the University will continue to innovate in order to boost academic quality, retain affordability, increase retention, ensure students can graduate on time, offer alternative pathways to a UA degree and focus on issues of importance to Arizona citizens.
The regents will conduct a public, interactive hearing to hear testimony and comments from the public, students and other interested parties regarding tuition from 5-7 p.m. on March 28. At the UA, the hearing will be held in Gallagher Theatre in the Student Union Memorial Center on the main campus, and in the Academic Technology Building, B153, in Sierra Vista.
Those who cannot attend can send their comments via email to the Arizona Board of Regents at firstname.lastname@example.org; by regular mail at 2020 N. Central Ave., Suite 230, Phoenix, AZ 85004; or by fax at 602-229-2555. All comments received prior to March 30 at 5 p.m. will be shared with the regents in advance of the April 5-6 board meeting.