Students pack university tuition hearings

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University and University of Arizona campuses around the state held joint hearings Monday night to review proposed tuition hikes.

Tuition at Arizona State University's main campus in Tempe could increase $1,240 next year and tuition at the University of Arizona's main campus in Tucson could increase $1,500.

ASU President Michael Crow offered no apologies. Instead, he placed blame on the state Legislature for another round of budget cuts.

"This is the result of the changing status of the investment in higher education by the Legislature, not the university," Crow said.

Hundreds of students showed up to voice concerns. Video-conferencing linked ASU and UA campuses in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma. Students at each were given time to directly address school officials and members of the Arizona Board of Regents.

A few parents joined in, too.

"To me as a parent, it's outrageous to increase tuition so high over such a short time frame, " said Bob Shadle, speaking from ASU's Downtown Campus.

Since 2002, ASU's enrollment has grown by 34 percent, but since 2008 state support has been cut by $180 million. This year the university stands to lose $78 million. The plan is to raise tuition to compensate for 40 percent of those cuts. The other $47 million will be made up through spending reductions and cuts. 

At ASU, this year's freshmen paid nearly $7,800. They'll pay an additional $1,240 under the proposed plan. At Northern Arizona University, next year's freshmen will pay $8,009, up $1,045.  At the U of A, students will pay $9,100, which is a $1,500 jump.

Those who could not attend the hearings can send their comments via email to Peggy Martin, Arizona Board of Regents, at (peggy.martin@azregents.edu) All comments received prior to April 5 will be shared with the regents in advance of the April 7 ABOR meeting.
 
To review proposed tuition rates and specific differential tuition for school, program and course fee increases, visit www.asu.edu/yourtuition. And for more inforamtion on the university system as a whole and to watch the hearings live, visit azregents.asu.edu.