ASU, NAU and UA ask for big tuition increases; students worry

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Arizona universities may see drastic increases in tuition
azfamily.com

TEMPE - While the Dow is dropping, tuition at Arizona State University is going up.

The three Arizona universities all asked for hikes in tuition.

Their proposals still have to be approved by the Board of Regents.

If approved, NAU, U of A, and ASU would all see drastic increases in tuition.

The universities are asking for tuition increases ranging from 11 to 14 percent.

Most students are finding it hard to believe that schools would want to increase tuition at a time when the economy is struggling.

"I think it's unfortunate because it's already hard enough with times the way they are economically," says ASU student Jacqueline Rushing.

"I had gone to school here about ten years ago, and my tuition between then and now is about double," says ASU student Annakristen Ganey.

"So to have an increase like that makes it that much more challenging for people to go to school, especially with the economic climate that we're in," she adds.

At ASU and NAU, the tuition spike would only affect incoming freshmen.

Current students at both schools are part of a guaranteed tuition plan.

For example, at ASU, current students will only see a 5% increase next fall.

"Honesty, I barely made tuition this year, so an increase in tuition would be intense for me," says ASU student Jonathan Garcia.

"On the individual scale, it just makes it harder and harder for people to go," says ASU student Katherine Davids.

ASU's Richard Stanley says the school puts aside millions of dollars for scholarships and grants to help financially-strapped students.

He points out that despite the increase in tuition around two-thirds of public universities in this country are more expensive than here.

"We believe that that is a level that can be defined as being very affordable, particularly when we add the financial aid to it, for an institution of the quality of Arizona State University," says Stanley.

"It feels expensive, but then when I hear how much people pay for out of state compared to other universities; it's like can you really complain or argue that much?" says Ganey.

"We do get a pretty good deal but it still seems like a lot of money."

The Board of Regents will address the issue in December.

The increases would take place in fall of 2009.

And unlike ASU and NAU, U of A does not have a guaranteed tuition program, so even current students would see a spike in tuition of 13 percent.