The Arizona Board of Regents unanimously approved ASU’s tuition and fee increases Thursday, including the controversial increase of the Barrett honors college fee that has drawn ire from students.
Along with a 2.8% increase for in-tuition, the proposal that passed includes an overhaul in ASU’s tuition for the 2019-20 academic year to what ASU has called a “tiered tuition model,” that collapses dozens of class and program fees and simplifies tuition into four major-specific buckets.
UA is increasing its in-state tuition by 1.8%, NAU is upping its in-state tuition by 2.9%.
A $500 annual increase in the Barrett honors fee was also passed, with ASU President Michael Crow recognizing the controversy around the fee.
“We have a complicated school at ASU called Barrett, which has over 8,000 students,” Crow said at the ABOR meeting held UA in Tucson Thursday. “A lot of students have shared concerns ... which have allowed us to structure how that fee is used.”
The increase was opposed by many students who criticized the lack of transparency surrounding the increase and what it would pay for. Undergraduate Student Government Tempe senate also formally opposed the increase by passing a resolution.
Despite criticisms, the Council Of Presidents, which represents all the student body on all four campuses as well as the graduate student body ultimately, shared support for all tuition and fee proposals.
"We, the 2018-2019 ASASU Council of Presidents, were elected to serve the student population and advocate for the resources, services, and initiatives that facilitate the best possible experience at ASU," the council said in an email sent to Barrett students.
In that email, the presidents said their support was contingent on crucial changes to the Barrett experience based on the student concerns.
According to the email those include "great marketing efforts of need-based community grants to both current and prospective students, a restructuring of the thesis funding model to decrease student financial burden, increased efforts to hire Barrett teaching faculty of color, a restructuring of the student feedback process and equity among campus resources among others."
Crow said in a meeting with The State Press last month that he had listened to said demands, and taken steps to meet those goals.
Among those voting for the increase was ASU law student and student regent Aundrea DeGravina.
ASU’s base tuition will rise by 2.8% for resident students, 4.3% for out-of-state students and 5.3% for international students. Tuition will start at $10,710, $28,800 and $31,200, respectively.
The approval of the $500 increase in the Barrett honors fee will bring the cost of Barrett, the Honors College to $2,000 annually, on top of base and major-specific tuition.
Crow pledged that financial aid would be available for Barrett students who are currently enrolled, and that the fee increase would “not be the reason for students not to be able to go to Barrett the Honors College.”