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Higher education reporter Anne Ryman of The Arizona Republic gives five tips to find free money for college. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com

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If Arizona’s three public universities get their way, students will pay more tuition to fund additional counselors, athletics programs and health fees for extended hours and more staff.

Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University announced last week that they intend to increase tuition for some or all of their students.

But where would the increased money the universities would bring in go, and how would it help students?

University of Arizona

University of Arizona students would pay more for tuition, though current undergraduate students get locked-in tuition rates for four years through a university guarantee.

  • For incoming freshmen next school year, tuition and fees would increase 1.8 percent for residents, from $12,228 to $12,447, and 1.9 percent for non-residents, from $35,658 to $36,346.
  • Graduate students would see the same percentage increases, bringing resident graduate tuition to $12,980 and non-resident graduate tuition to $33,329.

In total, UA's proposal would bring in $3.3 million more in revenue in the next fiscal year.

UA said in its proposal that the increased revenue would go toward more counselors for its Counseling and Psychological Services center to address increased demand by students with mental health and wellness needs.

The university also would add people to its financial aid office because of increased demand and enrollment growth.

It also wants more money to provide more subsidies for childcare services for undergraduate and graduate students.

Finally, increased tuition revenues would allow the university to provide merit-based raises to faculty and staff.

MORE: State board OKs beer, wine sales at University of Arizona's McKale Center

Northern Arizona University

Current undergraduate students who are part of Northern Arizona University's pledge program will not see increased tuition rates, as their rates are locked in for four years.

But other student populations at the school would have to pay more, if the proposal is approved.

  • NAU wants to increase tuition for incoming resident undergraduate students by about 4.6 percent, bringing tuition for that group up to $11,564 from $11,059.
  • For non-resident undergraduates, tuition would increase to $25,828 per year from $24,841, or about 4 percent.

In total, NAU's athletic fee would give the university $3.2 million in added revenue, and the tuition increases would bring in $4.3 million.

NAU spokeswoman Kimberly Ann Ott said the university would use the money in three main areas: financial aid, faculty and staff pay and infrastructure.

Ott said the largest chunk of money would be “student focused” and go toward financial aid, as well as increasing instructional and academic support as the school’s enrollment has grown.

The university would also put money toward retaining faculty and staff and recruiting new employees, she said.

Additionally, the money would allow the university to pay for maintaining its facilities, operations and technology needs, Ott said.

The Flagstaff school also proposed a $150 annual athletic fee to pay for “facility improvements and student engagement programming,” which the university contends will benefit the entire campus community, not just the athletics department.

MORE:NAU wants to charge $150 to pay for sports programs

Arizona State University

Arizona State University trumpeted its proposal that wouldn’t increase tuition for in-state undergraduate students. But all other student populations at ASU would see increases.

  • Undergraduate students from out of state would pay $934 more per year, an increase of 3.5 percent from $26,640 to $27,618.
  • Resident graduate students would see a 1.5 percent increase, bringing tuition from $11,240 to $11,406, while out-of-state graduate student tuition would go up 3.5 percent, from $29,176 to $30,198.
  • Tuition would also increase for international and online students.

In total, the tuition and fee increases will bring in $34.4 million to ASU.

ASU spokeswoman Katie Paquet said the tuition increases would be used to help the university achieve its goals of “increasing access and enhancing student outcomes across the board.”

That could mean more money for financial aid, supporting faculty and staff development and growth or increasing programs to support student success.

But unlike the other public universities, ASU could not provide specific uses for the tuition increase.

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