Will Arizona universities raise tuition for third year in a row?

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

TEMPE - The price to attend the University of Arizona could go up 30 percent while the price to attend Arizona State University could go up nearly 20 percent.

Students got the opportunity to complain to the board of regents in a statewide video conference on Monday night.

If the hike is approved, this will be the third year in a row students and their parents see a significant increase in their tuition.

ASU officials blame state cuts in funding saying they have no choice but to raise tuition again.

Many students are blaming the state legislature for another hike in tuition and are worrying about how they will pay for it. Stuart Luther, one student, says, “Taking out loans? I'll have to take out more loans." Shawana Grigsby, another student, agrees, “More loans…forever."

Tuition rose slowly at ASU through the 1990s before rising quickly in 2003 and now, for the last two years, it has spiked.

ASU officials say they need another 19 percent tuition increase next year and some students have reached their financial breaking point. Andres Cano says, “I know numerous people delaying education because it's just too expensive now."

From the downtown campus, ASU President Michael Crow listened to student concerns from all over the state and from Flagstaff to Tucson to ASU West in Glendale, the concerns are the same. Holly Prior, an ASU West student, asks, "Where are we going to get this money as students? I honestly have no idea. Me personally, I just can’t do it."

Matthew McTernan, also a student, adds, “The quality of my education is decreasing while my tuition is continually increasing."

ASU officials encourage its students to rise to the challenge. For many the biggest challenge is not academic any more, it is financial.

The board of regents votes on the proposed tuition increase next Thursday. If they approve it, it will send Arizona’s tuition rates higher than the national average.