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ASU 2016-17 proposal increases tuition for in-state students, non-residents

President Michael Crow meets with The State Press editorial board on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at the Fulton Center in Tempe.
President Michael Crow meets with The State Press editorial board on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at the Fulton Center in Tempe.

ASU administration's tuition proposal for the 2016-17 school year, released Friday, includes a slight increase for in-state students and a larger increase for out-of-state and international students.

The proposal calls for an increase of $200 for in-state tuition and $1,000 for out-of-state and international undergraduate students. For non-resident and international graduate students, the increase is $1,100.

It also suggests that the $320 surcharge for in-state students, which was put in place to combat the significant cuts to university funding by the state government, will be decreased by $50 — making the net in-state tuition increase $150.

“This (increase) comes after agony on our part trying to figure out how do this, how to make the University compete nationally (and) globally without charging students more and more,” ASU President Michael Crow said.

In 2015, the Arizona state government cut funding for public universities by $99 million. Specifically, ASU saw funding cut by roughly $53 million.

That same year, the 2015-16 tuition proposal increased out-of-state tuition by 4 percent and international undergraduate and graduate student tuition by 11.6 and 10.9 percent. While in-state tuition did not increase, a $320 fee was implemented.

While the fee was originally labelled as a “temporary one-year” surcharge, Crow said it will be cut when the state begins paying for half the cost of educating residents. The reduction this year is being implemented as a “sign of good faith.”

Crow said the tuition increase is what is necessary to remain competitive in higher education.

“We are on a completely different planet, … but we hire all our faculty from the same market. We compete for resources with the same tools. ... We compete in the same world. How do we compete with fewer resources?”

Despite the cuts and concerns, Crow said the University is keeping its previous promises to in-state students — maintaining access, keeping scholarships and not increasing tuition by more than 3 percent at a time — while also keeping out-of-state tuition at an average cost.

The tuition proposal will be presented to the Arizona Board of Regents in their meeting on April 7 and 8.

Ethan Clay is the director of efforts for the Tempe Campus for Students for Affordable Tuition, a grassroots organization seeking to simplify how Arizona funds higher education while ensuring that tuition remains affordable for students.

Clay, a history senior, said he was not expecting to go to college when he was in high school, but he was given a unique opportunity to attend ASU, which brought him to Students for Affordable Tuition.

“As the state disinvests in higher education, I think about maybe there’s a student like me in high school and because of the state disinvesting in higher education, they won’t be able to have the opportunities I had," Clay said.

Clay said he encourages students to understand the history of tuition in Arizona before forming opinions.

“If there’s going to be a tuition raise, a lot of the blame is going to go to ASU, or U of A, or NAU or ABOR,” he said. "They are the face of this, but they are being led to this decision because of the state not taking their constitutional responsibility and keeping tuition as close to free as possible."

Social work junior Allison Michalizysen said she feels tuition is already too high.

“I don’t want to see (tuition) go up,” she said. “I think more students should be privileged with an education.”

Parks and recreation freshman Alexa Almond, on out-of-state student, said she feels like tuition is already high and thinks an increase in costs would make it harder for students to afford an education.

"I think (with an increase) a lot of students wouldn't come to college," she said. "I know cost is a main thing in deciding whether or not to come. ... My parents gave me a money limit and said I couldn't go outside of it."

Reach the editor-in-chief at sgslade@asu or follow @shelbygslade on Twitter

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