ABOR meets with students, discusses tuition recommendations
Student leaders told the Arizona Board of Regents they supported ASU's proposed tuition plan at a hearing Tuesday.
ABOR held a tuition hearing across campuses of the three state universities Tuesday afternoon to hear the proposed tuition plans from university presidents.
Only USG presidents, USG members and ASASU members were present at ASU's meeting.
Students from the varying campuses of ASU, NAU and UA took turns speaking directly to regents and expressed concerns and approval of the different recommendations.
Tempe Undergraduate Student Government president Jordan Davis, applauded ASU President Michael Crow's recommendation of a 0 percent increase for in-state undergraduate students. "This is one of the most stable models of tuition I can think of," he said. "We were the only school of all three of them that had a 0 percent tuition increase for in-state students, and to me, that is a huge win for ASU students."
Tuition models at UA were not so favorable. An increase of 8.7 percent is being recommended by President Ann Weaver Hart.
Megan Fisk, president of the Graduate and Professional Students Association, said she couldn't believe the large increase being recommended for UA. "It seems so counter-intuitive to me that they would increase tuition 9 percent at UA for incoming freshman," she said. "I like the ASU model, and I think we have the best."
Crow said he thought the proposal for ASU was good as he said he saw a consensus of predictability and a consensus about the low tuition increases among the students.
"The students confirmed that these proposals at all of the universities were something worth having put the time and effort into," Crow said.
The 10-year plan ASU has implemented will keep tuition as low as possible over the next seven years left in the plan.
"We have a financial plan pretty much built around the assumption of low tuition going forward," Crow said. "So no increase of more than 3 percent in any year for 10 years with as close to zero as possible. So we are saying outer range 3 percent, desired range zero."
The students at UA were pushing for a guaranteed tuition program much like NAU's tuition agreement plan where an undergraduate in-state student's tuition will stay the same for eight consecutive semesters.
Crow expressed the ASU model was as close to a guaranteed model that would work for the University. "Ours is a stable tuition," Crow said. "We are trying to keep it low; we just didn't call it a guaranteed tuition model." Along with the slight increase of 3 percent in tuition for out-of-state undergraduate students, the University is also looking for financial help from the state Legislature. "We are pushing hard for state funding and the legislature is responsive and we are excited about that as it allows us to do this," Crow said.
ABOR Chairman Rick Myers assured the students that their comments would be taken seriously as the regents now decide on the tuition recommendations.
"I assure you that the regents take this very seriously as do your university presidents, and our No. 1 goal is to provide you with the very best experience that will help you to have a successful life and help make this state more competitive," Myers said.
The tuition setting hearing will be held on April 3. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @joey_hancock