Tuition rates for current and incoming, graduate and undergraduate students will not increase for the 2021-22 academic year, following the Arizona Board of Regents approval of ASU’s tuition and fee model.
The model, passed at a board meeting Thursday, said students will only see fee adjustments for select undergraduate and graduate programs.
This is the second consecutive year of no tuition increase at ASU and is part of the University's promise not to raise in-state tuition for undergraduate students by more than 3% per year, ASU President Michael Crow said.
Crow reminded students that “no tuition increase means no revenue increase.” With no increase in funds, the University’s net operating position is a negative $250 million operating loss for in-state students, he said at the April 6 budget hearing.
“That does mean at some point we will be increasing tuition, but not now," Crow said. "Not in the middle of the great pandemic, not in the middle of much uncertainty. Not in the middle of all the things we’ve been through ... so we will carry on."
Earlier this year, Crow mentioned the University is not planning any staff furloughs, layoffs or salary reductions. He said "the University is financially stressed, but stable," at a Feb. 15 meeting with The State Press.
“It does not mean, however, that this is not a huge financial responsibility and undertaking for the University,” Crow said on Thursday. "This no tuition increase comes at a time when operating during the pandemic has greatly exceeded our resources."
Among the fee adjustments passed were increases in college fees for undergraduate students enrolled in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. At a tuition hearing on April 6, Crow explained the increase, saying “the fees were calibrated to the wrong fee structure and now we need to move them to the right (ones).”
Fees will also be adjusted for a few graduate programs within the Herberger School, the College of Health Solutions, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
Several other fees will apply to master’s programs in women and gender studies, global affairs and management, crime analysis, policy advocacy, accountancy, taxation, and sports law and business. Graduate certificates in marketing and real estate will also increase.
At the tuition hearing on April 6, students shared their opinions on the no-tuition increase proposal.
Troy Anderson, a senior studying political science and philosophy and the USG Polytechnic president, voiced his support on behalf of the Associated Students of ASU Council of Presidents.
“The financial uncertainty of the student body has been an important issue this year and we believe this recommendation will go a long way in supporting our students and their families,” he said.
Carlos Rodriguez-Sierra, a graduate student studying landscape architecture, expressed frustration with the tuition rates amid the switch to online learning. Rodriguez-Sierra, who studies at the Herberger Institute, will be one of the students who will see a fee increase of $575 per semester.
This past year, ASU continued to charge students its per-semester $75 Student Athletic fee, despite most students not being able to attend games.
"What are you doing with the money built into tuition for sports that we can't attend, for the cultural events that aren't happening, what about the physical facilities that I can't use?" he asked.
As a first-year master's student, Rodriguez-Sierra explained that he chose ASU's design program over other schools because it was held in such high regard. But the program has failed to deliver on its promises, he said.
“This past year was less than inspiring,” he said. “I paid for ASU, and in return I received YouTube University.”
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