March 12, 2010
On Thursday, the Arizona Board of Regents approved double digit percentage increases to tuition for the state’s three public universities including Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and University of Arizona. The increases will go into effect with next year’s incoming freshman class. This makes Arizona the second state to approve double-digit increases in tuition inflation after California’s historic 32 percent increase.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the incoming class at Northern Arizona University will face a 15.2 percent increase. Their tuition would be frozen for four years, although they could still face fee increases.
Incoming students at Arizona State University will face an 18.8 percent increase. Current students will face an increase ranging from 11.9 percent to 12.7 percent.
University of Arizona incoming students will see a 20.5 percent increase, the highest increase out of all three schools; five percent more than NAU’s increase. The University of Arizona had requested a 31.1 percent increase, but the Arizona Board of Regents usually approves increases that are less than what the colleges request.
"More public colleges will have double-digit tuition inflation over the next year as the states scramble to replace the stimulus bill funding,” said financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz. “State support of higher education has been declining over the past several decades. This will yield a spike in the typical feast/famine cycle of public college tuition increases."
The Arizona public colleges have also cut faculty and staff and increased enrollment. Even with the tuition increases they will still have budgetary shortfalls, so more cuts are likely.