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Opinion: Proposed tuition increase is an obstacle for students success

ASU's proposed tuition increase will negatively impact international, out-of-state students who may have to deprioritize academics

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"With the proposal's approval, ASU could potentially lose out-of-state and international students to other universities."


ASU students will see a rise in tuition next year if the Arizona Board of Regents approves President Michael Crow's tuition increase.

This decision could potentially affect out-of-state and international students the most as there will be a 4% increase for non-residents of Arizona and a 5% for international students. Students will be forced to deprioritize academics to focus on financial concerns.

READ MORE: ASU President Michael Crow proposes tuition increases for 2022-23 academic year

With the proposal's approval, ASU could potentially lose out-of-state and international students to other universities. According to Business Insider, international students contribute $30 billion to the U.S. economy. But international students are now more reluctant than ever to attend university in the U.S. due to discrimination, immigration rules and health concerns.

According to the Pew Research Center, "Fewer than 1 million foreign students enrolled for either online or in-person classes at U.S. universities in the 2020-21 school year, comprising 4.6% of total enrollment at American higher educational institutions."

After a year of international students' hesitation to study in the U.S. because of COVID-19 and immigration controversies, with tuition potentially increasing, students are going to feel even less welcome at our University with limited financial aid options.

"While international students bring in lots of revenue to the U.S. system of higher education, they are not necessarily prioritized as far as scholarships and financial aids go," said Valeriia Starosek, an international student and senior computer science student.

The University boasts it is the No. 1 public university chosen by international students, but with the proposed increase, ASU should expect that ranking to fall.

"International students have almost no control over their financial situation due to the immigration law stipulations. They are limited in their options for making money, and the sources of income that are most easily available to them (working part-time on campus) can in no way match the financial obligations," Starosek said.

As an international student, I'm more focused on academics and keeping up with my grade point average than on my financial obligations. But unfortunately, with this proposed tuition increase, I will be forced to rethink that decision and get a job to keep afloat. 

As an international student, it's hard when you don't know if you will be able to pay for your education. Some of us aren't financially independent and depend on scholarships and family to help us. 

The story isn't any better for out-of-state students as they struggle to reach these financial demands. 

"I am an out-of-state student. My tuition is over $15,000 a semester and I am not qualified for FAFSA. For ASU to be a public university, they are charging too much for tuition," said Taylor Salvato, a film and media production student. 

Students are also confused by ASU increasing tuition costs when they don't see any improvements made to their education.

"They ask for all this money for tuition because they want to make the school better but focus it on the same things," Salvato said.

As an international student, additional stress and worry would overtake my life as I find ways to favor my educational expenses. It wouldn't be enough to only be a student and I would also be forced to focus on ways to afford my education.

"Students should never have to find themselves in a situation where the financial issue becomes an obstacle on their way to success," Starosek said.

International students help the University grow by bringing work ethic and dedication to their academics. This not only helps the University by contributing to the performance of the academic institution, but also allows the U.S. economy to thrive.

The best thing ASU should be doing now if the plan to continue with this proposed tuition increase is to offer more scholarships, especially scholarships for the international community and transfer students.


Reach the columnist at fgalanma@asu.edu and follow @fgalanma on Twitter. 

Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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