ASU students could see their tuition increase next year if the Arizona Board of Regents approves President Michael Crow's tuition and fee proposal he submitted Monday.
Crow proposed a 2.5% increase in tuition for on-campus resident students, a 4% increase for non-resident students and a 5% increase for international students for the 2022-23 academic year.
The proposal marks the University's first time asking for significant changes to resident and non-resident tuition since the COVID-19 pandemic began. If the proposal is approved by ABOR, it would mark the first increase in tuition in two years after not doing so due to the financial burden many students faced during the pandemic.
According to ASU's standard cost of attendance, on-campus resident undergraduates' base tuition was $10,710 for the 2021-22 academic year at the University's four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. On-campus non-resident undergraduates' base tuition was $28,800.
The proposal also outlined potential increases of up to $30 for on-campus resident students and $50 for on-campus non-resident students in college fees. Several increases or new fees are being proposed for graduate programs in the College of Global Futures, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Thunderbird School of Global Management and W.P. Carey School of Business.
The proposed tuition changes stay within the University's mission to keep increases for resident students below 3%, Crow wrote in a statement posted to social media Friday.
"We're continuing on our promise of trying to keep those tuition levels at what we call the average level," Crow said in a meeting with The State Press in February. "That's a huge financial decision on our part."
According to the proposal, students enrolled in degree programs offered at rural community college campuses and Lake Havasu will pay resident tuition at 60% of base tuition and non-resident tuition at 35%. Tuition rates for underclassmen studying at the Polytechnic campus and New College are proposed to be 90% of tuition set for other on-campus programs.
The proposal also outlines "digital immersion" resident student costs per credit hour could increase by 2% with a cap equivalent to full time on-campus student tuition. Non-resident students are proposed to be billed per credit hour with no cap.
In a meeting with The State Press Friday, ASU Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen said high inflation and students returning to campus for in-person instruction impact the cost of attendance.
"We have to look longer term at what the University's financial requirements are going to be and the services that people expect us to provide," Olsen said. "We have to make sure that we have long term financial equilibrium, kind of a balance between revenue and expense."
As the University's enrollment continues to grow, Olsen said tuition money will be used to hire more faculty to keep class sizes the same. Support areas like counseling, career development and financial aid will also likely see investments.
Some tuition funds will also go toward the New Economy Initiative — a budget proposal with initiatives aimed toward increasing higher education access for the purpose of readying a workforce to meet the labor demands of the state — including making investments for science and technology centers on ASU campuses, Olsen said.
Crow and presidents at UA and NAU will present tuition proposals to ABOR's Capital, Finance and Resources Committee on March 24. A public hearing will be hosted on March 28, followed by a board vote on April 7 to approve the proposals.
Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.