Tuition increases at Arizona's universities get OK from Board of Regents
Arizona university students already pay many tens of thousands of dollars to get their degrees. But to graduate, they have to fork over even more money.
The Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously approved increases in tuition, fees and housing rates at all three state universities for the next school year.
But most in-state undergraduate students who currently attend the three schools won't see tuition increases for the 2018-19 school year.
Arizona State University did not increase tuition for in-state undergraduates. Most in-state undergraduate students at University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University are part of programs that guarantee tuition rates for four years.
All other student populations at the schools — including graduate, out-of-state and online students — will see increases next year.
The universities say increases will go toward things like financial aid, more counselors and student support services.
Regents call for more state funding
The regents repeatedly called on state government to better fund universities, as did the university presidents.
Most other state universities have seen their state funding return to prerecession levels, Regent Ron Shoopman said.
"The cuts in state funding have had a great impact on our universities," he said.
Regent Larry Penley said he would love to see a year with no increases for any students or, even better, a tuition decrease.
"But that can’t be done unless we work together with our governor and our legislators to achieve that," Penley said.
Costs will increase for many
NAU students will begin paying a $150 annual fee for athletics programs next year. The school will have an advisory committee to let students monitor how the fee is spent. All three universities now charge students an athletics fee to cover the costs of sports programs.
ASU students will pay $30 more annually for a health and wellness fee, bringing the total fee to $110 per year. The increased fee will allow for extended hours at clinics and telemedicine services.
All three schools increased or added fees for specific programs.
For undergraduate students who start at NAU and UA in the fall, tuition will cost more than it does this year. For incoming UA students, tuition and fees would increase 1.8 percent for residents to $12,447 with the rate guaranteed for up to four years.
New NAU in-state, undergraduate students would pay about 4.6 percent more next school year, as tuition would increase to $11,564. The tuition rate would stay flat for four years.
ASU's in-state undergrads will pay $9,834 next year for tuition, the same amount they pay this year.
How Arizona university costs compare
Average in-state tuition and fees at public universities nationally came in at $9,970 for the 2017-2018 school year, according to the College Board, a non-profit group focused on higher education.
For out-of-state students this school year, average tuition and fees were $20,770.
Out-of-state undergraduate students will pay 2 percent more at UA, 3.5 percent more at ASU, and 4 percent more at NAU.