Utilizing offered student services vital In times of increased fees, tuition

With students paying increased fees, we should take full advantage of offered programs and services.

Following ASU’s release of its 2015-16 Tuition Proposal on Friday, it appears ASU President Michael Crow has proposed an alternative solution in an attempt to keep his word to hold tuition steady for in-state students.

“There will be no in-state tuition increase for in-state students, graduate or undergraduate, at Arizona State University. Period,” Crow said in January, following the release of Gov. Doug Ducey's proposed budget cuts. Rather than increasing tuition for in-state students, the 2015-16 Tuition Proposal institutes a “temporary one-year surcharge fee” of $320 for in-state students.

During a meeting with The State Press’s editorial board, Crow discussed the cuts, which slashed $99 million from Arizona universities. “The single most important thing that I can do as both a university professor, as a university president but set aside either of those, as a citizen, is to lay the foundation for the next generation to be successful,” Crow said. “Why would anyone cut funding for the next generation to have an opportunity to enhance their education? It's something that is not wise.” The lack of funding placed Crow and the ASU administration in a tough place, as they do not want to place the burden of bridging the budget gap on the backs of any students.

Unfortunately, not all students can say their tuition remain untouched. Out-of-state students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, will see a proposed 4 percent increase, landing at base rates of $24,784 and $27,086. Surprisingly, ASU online students are set to receive only a 2 percent per credit hour tuition increase.

International students would also face an increase, but at much higher rates. International undergraduate students would pay 11.6 percent more than last year, with a tuition price of $26,584, while international graduate students can expect a 10.9 percent increase, meaning tuition will sit at $28,886. While these increases are less-than-desirable for students, they are necessary and far from unreasonable — keeping ASU out-of-state tuition at a market-value price comparable to the in-state tuition found at public universities in out-of-state students’ home states.

Several programs for various levels of education throughout ASU will also be receiving fee increases. Notably, Barrett, The Honors College, will likely be fronting a fee increase of $250 per semester, while undergraduate students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will likely be paying an additional fee of $250 per semester.

With increased fees, students should be taking advantage of the services we are paying for. Here is a list of several student-funded amenities and where to find them.

  • Tutoring services — ASU Student Success centers are located on all four campuses and offer free tutoring for students.
  • Sun Devil Fitness Complexes — There is a student gym available at each of ASU’s campuses. Students pay a $25 fee each semester that cannot be removed from a student account. This rate is more affordable than most, if not all, gyms in the surrounding area, making it a competitively priced location for students to work out.
  • Health Center — Conveniently located on all four campuses, students are able to receive specific treatments and care at the ASU Health Centers, thanks to a $40 “Health and Wellness” fee billed to each student’s account.
  • Sun Devil Athletics — With each student paying a $150 athletic fee, students should take advantage of attending ASU sporting events. Not only will you be supporting our student athletes, you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
  • Honors classes/contracts — Because Barrett students will be fronting an increased fee each semester, qualifying students should use honors contracts and and take Barrett-exclusive classes.
  • Shuttles — Campus shuttles run seven days per week and provide the most convenient connection between the four campuses spread across the Valley. Departing every 30 minutes, the shuttles provide an alternative for students who do not own a car or are trying to save a few bucks.
  • Editing Bays — Journalism students should take advantage of technology you can’t get anywhere else with rooms featuring nearly soundproof walls, mics and Adobe Suite.

Following nearly $100 million in budget cuts, Crow has done his best to ensure that ASU remains a competitive university and that student life is minimally affected by the cuts. Despite his best efforts, several fees have been put in place to maintain the university’s integrity and the increasing quality of education that ASU provides. If we are paying increased fees that cover hundreds of student services, we should take full advantage of these programs and features — instead of paying for programs that will go unused and unappreciated.

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