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ASU is exploring a way to set tuition for the Polytechnic and West campuses at a level lower than the Tempe and Downtown campuses.

The idea is still in the early stages, but would set West campus tuition at 25 percent less than tuition at the Tempe and Downtown campuses. Tuition at Polytechnic would be 10 percent less than Tempe and Downtown.

ASU Provost Elizabeth Capaldi outlined the idea Thursday to the Arizona Board of Regents, presenting it along with ideas to lower tuition and expand online offerings.

“Students in online programs and other low-cost options will receive the same quality education and be accountable for the same learning outcomes,” Capaldi said.

After the regents meeting, ASU President Michael Crow said the lower tuition rates would apply to students in academic programs headquartered on the West and Polytechnic campuses.

“It’s basically college-specific,” he said. “The idea is we might lower tuition on some programs because our costs are lower.”

The costs are lower on those campuses, he said, because they offer a much narrower range of academic programs than the Downtown and Tempe campuses.

In the case of the Polytechnic campus, Crow said the lower tuition rate would only apply to freshmen and sophomores. He was unable to say what tuition rate students would pay if they enroll in more than one academic program on different campuses.

Elma Delic, chair of the Arizona Students’ Association, said one positive aspect of the plan is that it could help more Arizonans attend college.

“ASA is supportive of having lower-cost options because it creates more access,” she said, adding that she still wants to see what the University plans to do for students who attend multiple campuses.

If the University moves forward with a full proposal, it will be presented to ABOR in April, when tuition is set for all three universities.

If approved, Crow said the different levels of tuition would be in effect for the start of the fall semester.

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Katie Shoultz contributed to this report

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