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Arizona Board of Regents approves ASU's over $3 billion FY 2022 budget

ASU expects financial growth thanks to an increase in student enrollment and a return to sports, arts and other auxiliary activities

ASU Fiscal Year 2022 budget

"ASU's fiscal year 2022 budget shows an expected increase in overall revenue with an increased net result of $113.9 million." Illustration published on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

The Arizona Board of Regents voted on Thursday to approve ASU’s fiscal year 2022 budget, which projects both revenue and expense increases from the previous fiscal year.

ASU is projecting a net gain of $113.9 million due to growth in enrollment, more federal financial aid and the return of auxiliary activities to the University, according to the budget. The projected net gain for FY22, created by a projected $3.4 billion in revenue and nearly $3.3 billion in expenses, is an increase from the projected net loss of $35 million in FY21.

For comparison, ASU budgeted for a net increase of $6.7 million for FY20 before the pandemic hit.

Tuition and fees revenue is expected to increase by $164.4 million despite ASU’s decision to not increase tuition for the 2021-22 academic year. ASU’s Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen attributed the increase to a growth in student enrollment at the meeting.

The budget predicts a 2.1% increase in resident student enrollment, a 9.1% increase in nonresident student enrollment and a 3.9% increase in international student enrollment. Online student enrollment is projected to increase by 12.1%.

ASU will allow for a 3.6% increase in salaries and wages for employees and expects a 4.2% increase in funds for research grants and contracts.

The budget also accounts for an expected restoration of normal activities related to housing, dining, athletics and cultural programming after they were dramatically reduced in FY21, resulting in an $83.7 million increase in revenue over the previous budget.

In his remarks on the budget, ASU President Michael Crow explained the University is no longer dependent on state funding, but it has generated revenue through its own endeavors. 

“We are operating in full enterprise modality,” Crow said. “We do serve the public and are governed by this board, but we operate in a modality where we seek partnerships, we seek revenue and mechanisms to generate revenue.”

$356.8 million of the projected $3.4 billion revenue for FY22 will come from state appropriations. At the time of publication, the Arizona State Legislature has not approved a state budget, making exact state appropriation numbers tentative. 

ASU will adjust its budget following the approval of a state budget and present the adjustments to ABOR in the fall. 

Earlier in May, ASU received a one-time federal grant of $191 million from the latest COVID-19 stimulus package — $89 million of which will go to institutional aid, while the remainder will be divided among students for aid. Plans on how the funds will be dispersed have yet to be announced. 

Budget expenses will include $55 million for investment in programs supported by fees, $48.4 million for enrollment growth-related expenses, $35.8 million for new faculty and academic support, $18.2 million for institutionally funded financial aid and $10.4 million for merit-based salary increases.

The budget overview expressed strong optimism for the University’s prosperity in FY22 due to an expected return to in-person classes and a restoration of campus activities, adding ASU is "well-positioned to meet the challenges ahead" thanks to its cash on hand, financial investments, growth in student enrollment and research endeavors.

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