The presidents of Arizona's three state universities have submitted tuition proposals for the 2014-15 academic year, and the University of Arizona is likely to raise its tuition.
The UA proposed a spike in in-state tuition of 2 percent, and increase out-of-state tuition by 5 percent, per Arizona Board of Regents approval.
This year, Arizona residents paid $10,390 in basic tuition. The proposed increase would add $207 to their tuition bills. Out-of-state students would pay just under $28,500, up from about $27,000.
James Gonzalez, a sophomore from New Jersey, said he’s disappointed.
“That’s a lot, considering I have to pay a lot because I’m an out-of-state student," he said. "Adding 5 percent honestly might be too much for me. Like I don’t know how I’m going to be able to pay that off.”
In-state tuition has nearly doubled since 2008.
Andrew Comrie, UA senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said tuition rates for in-state students remain well below the actual cost of their studies, and the increased rates for out-of-state students will put the UA in a competitive footing with its peers.
“The cost of running an institution like this – there are built-in costs that rise year to year," he said. "Just keeping the lights on costs something, even if you do nothing different and we need to be accounted for those increases, let alone all of the other increases that are unique to higher ed.”
The university is also proposing a guaranteed tuition level for incoming first-year undergraduates. Tuition would be 6 percent higher for in-state and 9 percent for out-of-state first year students. Then it would remain unchanged for all four years of a student’s studies. The proposal is in line with Gov. Jan Brewer’s call for universities to keep tuition stable.
The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s three public universities, will hold a videoconference public hearing on March 25 at each of the three universities.
The board will make a final decision on the tuition increases at a meeting on the UA campus on April 3.