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Categorized | Arizona

Arizona Students Brace for Historically High Tuition Increase

ABORState budgets are tight and colleges and universities counting on sustained funding from their governors (and not receiving it) are starting to look at other sources to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, there are only two ways in which a college can help the bottom line, they either have to increase net tuition and fees or rely upon the fund raising office to bring in the funds.

Arizona’s three state universities are selecting the first option (raising tuition this coming fall semester) to put the budget back in the black.

The University of Arizona is leading the pack by pushing a 31% increase in tuition and fees for undergraduate students attending next year. Arizona State University is close behind with a 19% increase for incoming students and a variable increase (estimated to be around 14%) for all returning students depending on which year they started. Northern Arizona University rounds out the increases by proposing a 16% jump in fees for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Northern Arizona University is making a compromise to incoming students by freezing their tuition at that level for the next eight semesters. However, after that, they will be susceptible to future increases.

Of course, these fees have to be approved by the Arizona Board of Regents but given that they increased tuition twice last year, it is very likely that they will easily put their stamp of approval on these tuition increase proposals.

In 2008, these three institutions received $1 billion dollars from the state budget. In 2009, they received $810 million and in 2010 they are on schedule to lose another $231 million in funding. It certainly does not make the tuition increases any easier on the checkbook of students attending these institutions but it does help to provide some understanding for the significant jump in fees.

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