Arizona Board of Regents votes to increase tuition for the 2017-18 school year

ABOR increased tuition for ASU, UA and NAU the final tuition hearing April 6, which will apply for the coming school year

Arizona Board of Regents voted to raise tuition for all the universities it oversees during a board meeting Thursday. The board voted 8 to 1, approving the increase. 

This is the fifth consecutive year that ASU has raised tuition, in accordance with Crow’s pledge to keep tuition increases under 3 percent per year for in-state students. 

ASU does not have a tuition guarantee program, and the tuition increases passed Thursday will affect all students. In-state students will pay $10,792 or a 1.5 percent increase from the 2016-17 school year. Out of state students will pay $27,372, an increase of 3.5 percent and international students will pay $29,512, an increase of 4.5 percent. 

Crow said the university makes "every effort" to ensure that no student is financially not able to attend, in an emailed statement following the ABOR hearing. 

“Our tuition philosophy is based on inclusion versus exclusion and a commitment to maintaining affordable access to the most innovative university in the country," Crow's emailed statement said. "We make every effort to ensure that no student who is academically qualified is unable to attend ASU due to financial circumstances and that our student body is reflective of the socioeconomic demographics of the state." 

Crow said despite the increase, tuition rates for out-of-state and international students remain competitive. 

"As always, we will continue to work at all levels of the university to build and maintain an operating environment that allows us to maintain these tuition levels through diversification and prudent stewardship of all revenue sources,” Crow said. 

While tuition will go up, ASU remains the most affordable out of the three for freshman entering in the 2017-18 school year. NAU incoming freshman will pay a $11,059 for tuition and fees, at an increase of $295. Current NAU students will not see an increase in tuition, in accordance with their Pledge tuition program. 

UA students will pay $12,228, or an increase of one percent with an additional $458 in fees for in-state students. All new incoming UA students, as well as students not under the cost freeze guarantee will see an increase in fees. 

Jimmy Arwood, former Undergraduate Student Government Downtown Vice President of Policy, said students need to continue fighting tuition increases at the state Legislature.

"I know there are students who work two and three jobs just to get by, and I keep them in mind whenever representing them here," Arwood said. “Honestly, the next fight comes at the Legislature. It's about getting university funding, that’s where we have to put our efforts into next.”

Felina Rodriguez, a political science and Spanish literature senior, said she was not surprised that ABOR voted to increase tuition. 

Rodriguez said the increase made her resentful and disappointed, and encouraged Crow to increase his visibility with the students and parents to better the conversation. 

“Hold public forums, and when I mean public, I do mean public … not just accepting two questions from each school like he did at the luncheon," Rodriguez said. "Actually come in front of the students, their parents and everyone here with translators available as well, to incorporate the different languages we have here."

Rodriguez said the increase made her resentful and disappointed to be an ASU student, and encouraged Crow to increase his visibility with the students and parents to better the conversation. 

"Be willing to face the students that he is going to oust because they cannot afford school,” she said. 

The regents did not take time for questions or comments at the Thursday meeting, held at UA. Instead, ABOR held a tuition hearing on March 28 where students were able to voice their concerns to the board and university presidents. 

Fallon Leyba, co-chair of Students for a Democratic Society, voiced her concerns for a tuition increase to Crow and ABOR, extending her concerns for tuition increases across the state.

“Tuition hikes harm students, rather than help them," Leyba said. "(SDS) as a club have been in opposition to these tuition hikes for several months now.”  

Leyba said ABOR should consider postponing the tuition increase.

“If possible (ABOR should) consider postponing the implication of the tuition hikes until students can be properly involved with the process of inventing these types of hikes, and by that I mean student involvement outside of USG and their counterparts across other campuses,” Leyba said. 

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